If you’re pregnant or believe you might be pregnant, Find an OB at Dignity Health and schedule a pregnancy ultrasound in Sacramento or the surrounding areas. We use the latest technologies at our Family Birth Centers, and our trusted doctors will offer professional care for you and your baby during every stage of pregnancy.
What to Expect During Your Pregnancy Ultrasound
Ultrasounds are performed in your Dignity Health doctor’s office or other imaging facility and typically take about 30 minutes. During a pregnancy ultrasound, you’ll relax on your back on an exam table.
There are two types of pregnancy ultrasounds:
- Transabdominal ultrasound. During an abdominal ultrasound, a technician moves a sensor over your lower abdomen. This approach is typically used after the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Transvaginal ultrasound. Typically performed in early pregnancy, a transvaginal ultrasound uses a probe that is inserted into the vagina.
Why Dignity Health Doctors Perform Ultrasounds During Pregnancy
Pregnancy ultrasounds use sound waves to “see” inside the womb. Pregnant mothers and our experienced doctors use the information they get from those ultrasounds to make plans regarding the management of the pregnancy and birth.
Pregnancy ultrasounds are used to:
- Check for twins, triplets, or other multiples. A pregnancy ultrasound can reveal a multiple pregnancy very early in the pregnancy, allowing parents-to-be to plan ahead.
- Determine your due date. Health care providers can very accurately determine a baby’s gestational age and your likely due date by measuring the baby’s size during a pregnancy ultrasound in the first trimester.
- Check the location of your placenta. Pregnancy ultrasound can be used to confirm or rule out placenta previa and make decisions regarding birth.
- Check baby’s growth and development. Pregnancy ultrasounds inspect the development of your baby’s organs. It is also used to compare your baby’s growth to what is expected at that stage of pregnancy.
- Check baby’s position. By the third trimester, most babies are positioned “heads down,” in an optimal position for birth. If your doctor suspects that the baby is not positioned heads down, an ultrasound can reveal the baby’s position. This information is used to make decisions regarding birth.
- Look for birth defects. Many birth defects, such as congenital heart defects, can be diagnosed before birth through a level 2 ultrasound.
- Assess your amniotic fluid. Too much or too little amniotic fluid can pose problems for your baby and your pregnancy. Pregnancy ultrasound is a safe, noninvasive way to check amniotic fluid levels.
- Follow up on previous tests. If previous prenatal screening tests have indicated a possible problem, a pregnancy ultrasound can reveal additional information.
You will likely get the results of your ultrasound soon after the test, usually, before you leave.
Dignity Health doctors provide ultrasounds throughout the Sacramento region.