Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Are ultrasounds only used for pregnancy or can they find other health problems?"

ZocdocAnswersAre ultrasounds only used for pregnancy or can they find other health problems?


I know that pregnant women get ultrasounds, but can they find other health problems? I have a bad stomach and was wondering if I should ask my doctor about an ultrasound.


Ultrasound is simply a generic term for using a probe that emits sound waves (sort of like radar) to detect structures within the body. Ultrasounds are used to help diagnose and monitor many different conditions in different parts of the body. For example, ultrasound is used to look at the heart (echocardiogram), the liver, spleen, and gall bladder (abdominal ultrasound), and the ovaries and uterus (pelvic ultrasound) among other applications. So the short answer to your question is, yes an ultrasound is often used to evaluate stomach problems. However, I am not entirely sure what all of your symptoms are from your question, so rather than recommending an ultrasound right off the bat, I think it would be better to start with a good, thorough checkup by your primary care doctor. They will perform a full examination and ask you lots of questions. Based on this, they may decide that additional testing, which might include an ultrasound, is needed. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the symptoms you are experiencing, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the bowel movements, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, etc. These will help them narrow down the potential causes of your problem.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.