Ultrasonography is the transmission of intermittent high-frequency sound waves through body tissue which are reflected back from this tissue to a transducer. From the transducer an image of the body tissue is displayed on the monitor screen.
Uses: Family Planning Associates uses ultrasound technology to assist in gestational age dating. Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants who have received training in measuring specific fetal structures for age dating perform the ultrasound. Our physicians also use the ultrasound for evaluating patients with complaints of abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding. While it is common to feel pressure in the abdomen or the vagina, there is little discomfort associated with the use of ultrasounds.
Risks: Numerous studies have been performed to determine the risks of ultrasound use in pregnancy. The studies have determined that there are no known risks and no confirmed biological hazards.
Types of Exams using Ultrasound:
Pelvic – The abdominal/pelvic exam involves placement of the transducer on the abdomen. A conducting gel is placed on the abdomen through which sounds waves are transmitted and received. A “real time” image is displayed on the monitor screen.
Vaginal – The vaginal ultrasound consists of placing a specially designed probe (with latex cover) into the vaginal canal (these probes are sanitized after each use). The vaginal ultrasound usually produces a more distinct picture of the uterine contents and allows for more accurate determination of very early gestational ages.