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First Ultrasound Appointment - What to Expect

Posted on Jun. 1, 2021 ( comments)

Anxiety, excitement and fear can all be common feelings when scheduling your first ultrasound appointment, particularly if you aren’t sure what to expect. To alleviate some of the uncertainty, we’ve outlined what your first ultrasound appointment will look like.

Your ultrasound exam will begin transabdominally, that is, the ultrasound tech will use the ultrasound “wand” externally, over your belly. The tech will look at your uterus, ovaries and area surrounding the ovary. It’s important to come to your ultrasound exam with a full bladder. This helps the ultrasound tech to get a clear picture of your uterus and surrounding areas.

In some cases, the ultrasound tech will need to examine you using an ultrasound wand that goes inside your vagina (a transvaginal exam). If this is the case, you will need to empty your bladder before your tech performs this internal exam.

During your first ultrasound exam , your ultrasound tech is looking for early signs of pregnancy development: such as a gestational sac, yolk sac, and what is known as the “fetal pole” — basically your baby in its very early stages of growth. We also check to make sure that these are located in the correct location within the uterus. Depending on when you have your first ultrasound appointment, your ultrasound tech may or may not be able to visualize the baby. If they are able to detect a heartbeat, you will not be able to “hear” the heartbeat, but you’ll still be able to measure it.

Your ultrasound tech will also measure the crown-rump length (CRL), of your baby. This measurement helps determine how accurate your estimated due date is and whether that date needs to be updated. e.

After the ultrasound tech takes the necessary images, they are provided to a radiologist to be reviewed, and then you’ll be provided with information about the results of your exam, as well as any follow-up that may be needed. 

After your pregnancy has been confirmed by a pregnancy test with your provider in the office, an ultrasound will then be scheduled before your next appointment. Reach out to your provider if you have any questions or concerns leading up to your first ultrasound appointment.

Editor’s note: This article is part of MultiCare Valley Hospital’s and MultiCare Deaconess Hospital’s newsletter series, Bloom, intended for expecting patients in the Inland Northwest region. Services outlined may vary in other MultiCare locations.

About The Author

Cody Hanson

Cody Hanson is the digital marketing specialist for the MultiCare Inland Northwest's marketing team. He manages online reputations for both MultiCare providers and locations in the region. He also manages paid search, display, retargeting and social media campaigns. You can reach him at [email protected].

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