Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What kind of ultrasound do I need?"
I am pregnant and I'm about to go into the doctor for my first ultrasound, and I'm trying to prepare myself. Is the ultrasound going to be vaginal? Or will it just be on my stomach and sides?
The answer to this question depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Since this is your first ultrasound, then I think that most likely you are somewhere between 6 and 10 weeks into your pregnancy. The goal of the first ultrasound is to take pictures of the baby's size to gain an accurate estimate of the birth date, and to listen to the heart rate.
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At this stage, most OBGYNs will get a transvaginal ultrasound. This is where the ultrasound probe is placed in the vagina up against the cervix where ultrasound images of the baby are shot. This method is better than the stomach ultrasound at this stage for getting size measurements. If this is an ultrasound between 16 and 20 weeks, then the ultrasound will be done across your stomach. The purpose of this ultrasound is to evaluated the progress of development of all your baby's body parts. This ultrasound can also determine your baby's sex if that is desired. Hopefully, you are going for your first ultrasound between 6 and 10 weeks because this is what gives you the most accurate delivery date. I hope that gives you the information you wanted before going to your doctor.
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