3 Benefits of an Ultrasound Exam

You’re stunned and trying to figure out what to do next. After you discover you’re unexpectedly pregnant, having an ultrasound exam is probably the last thing you’re thinking about when question after question is running through your mind, “When did this happen? Now what?”

Yet, an appointment for a pregnancy ultrasound is a good next step, and we’ll discuss three ways an ultrasound benefits you when you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy.

What Is a Pregnancy Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a safe test that gives your healthcare provider valuable information about your pregnancy by producing images they can view on a computer screen [1]. Painless high-frequency soundwaves travel through your skin to produce the images from a small hand-held sensor.

3 Benefits of an Ultrasound Exam

1. An ultrasound exam confirms pregnancy.

A pregnancy ultrasound provides a definite answer to whether or not you are actually pregnant. Once you have confirmed your pregnancy, you are ready to begin making a decision about your next steps. The ultrasound may give you just the answers you need to calm the anxiety so you can move forward without confusion.

2. An ultrasound exam tells you how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Probably one of the first questions you asked after you discovered you were pregnant was, “How far along am I?” Your answer can be way off if you use menstrual dates to figure this out since many women experience bleeding in early pregnancy, and dates are often inaccurate.

An ultrasound accurately tells you how far along you are. When you’re making important decisions about an unexpected pregnancy, it’s crucial to know what stage of pregnancy you’re in because different abortion options are available to you depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

3. An ultrasound exam tells you if your pregnancy is viable or nonviable.

A viable pregnancy is one that is likely to carry to term and end in a live birth [2]. This is important to know because your options change if your pregnancy isn’t viable. Rather than reviewing options of parenting, adoption, and abortion, you would need medical attention for miscarriage because there is no chance of the pregnancy surviving.

An ultrasound exam tells your medical team if you have a viable pregnancy by detecting a fetal heartbeat and the location of your pregnancy. If a heartbeat isn’t found or if it is unusually slow (embryonic bradycardia), it might represent a nonviable pregnancy. If this happens, your healthcare provider may ask you to return in one week for a repeat ultrasound.

An ultrasound exam also detects the location of your pregnancy. If a fetal heartbeat is detected, but the pregnancy is not within your uterus, it isn’t a viable pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants into the fallopian tube rather than the uterus, and it requires immediate medical intervention [3].

We Can Provide the Information You Need

Make an appointment today to get the clarity you need about your unexpected pregnancy. Our licensed medical team at Pregnancy Care Clinic provides quality ultrasound exams at no cost to you. Our unbiased options counselors are ready to answer your questions and empower you to make an informed choice.

[1] Sullivan, PhD., MSN, RN, CNE, COI, Debra. (2016, October 7). What Is a Pregnancy Ultrasound? Retrieved on January 27, 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/ultrasound

[2] Grunebaum, Amos. (2018, October 17). What Is a Viable Pregnancy and a Nonviable Pregnancy? Retrieved on January 27, 2020 from https://www.babymed.com/what-is-a-viable-nonviable-periviability-viability-pregnancy

[3] Wilson, PhD., MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, Debra Rose. (2018, January 8). Ectopic Pregnancy. Retrieved on January 27, 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/ectopic-pregnancy