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Obstetric Ultrasounds Measure Your Baby’s Development

All Women’s Medical Center uses obstetric ultrasounds to monitor our Chicago patients’ pregnancies. Relying on sound waves and echoes to create images called sonograms, ultrasounds allow us to keep a closer eye on your baby’s development and check for any abnormalities during your pregnancy. Because ultrasounds do not use radiation, they’re deemed safe for both you and your baby. Obstetric ultrasounds are used during all three trimesters of a pregnancy to achieve various purposes. Using their images, we can help you determine your baby’s sex and due date or measure your baby’s heart rate and blood flow. Ultrasounds also allow you to see your growing baby’s features before birth, which helps expectant parents prepare for parenthood.

doctor doing an ultrasound on a pregnant woman

What to Expect During an Abdominal Ultrasound

On the day of your obstetric ultrasound appointment in our Chicago office, we encourage you to wear a loose-fitting, two-piece outfit. An obstetric ultrasound may be performed in one of two ways: an abdominal ultrasound or a transvaginal ultrasound. During an abdominal ultrasound, we’ll have you lie on our exam table while our technician applies a special water-based gel on your exposed abdomen that allows us to get a clearer picture. A transducer (hand-held device capable of sending and receiving the ultrasound signals) will be moved gently around your belly while we capture your sonogram images. An abdominal ultrasound is typically done while you have a full bladder for best results.

What to Expect During a Transvaginal Ultrasound

A transvaginal ultrasound involves the insertion of a thin, wand-like transducer into your vagina that has been coated with the special water-based gel that allows us to get a clearer picture. Your bladder can be empty or partially full during this type of ultrasound, which may cause minimal discomfort. The type of ultrasound we recommend is usually connected to the stage of your pregnancy and the location of the fetus, with transvaginal ultrasounds occurring earlier in your pregnancy when your uterus and fallopian tubes are closer to your vagina than your abdomen.

Scheduling Your Ultrasounds in the Chicago Area

Obstetric ultrasounds are one of many state-of-the-art diagnostic tools used at All Women’s Medical Center in Chicago. Obstetric ultrasounds enable us to find and identify abnormalities and complications earlier on during pregnancy so that our staff can help our patients prepare for safer births. To learn more about how obstetric ultrasounds are used in our office or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. We look forward to helping you prepare for parenthood!

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