Ultrasound in Pregnancy

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An ultrasound is a test that uses sound reflections to look at your baby, the uterus and the placenta. You will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat and pictures are viewed on a computer screen. An ultrasound is not an x-ray and causes no pain. This test takes about 20 minutes and will be done in your clinic.

 An ultrasound is used to:


  • Check the birth due date.
  • Check the baby’s size and development.
  • See if there are multiple fetuses.
  • Look for birth defects. If there is possibility of a birth defect, other tests will be done.
  • Look for causes of bleeding or other problems.
  • Check the baby’s position in pregnancy.

Although the baby’s genital area may be seen, ultrasounds are not done to find the baby’s sex. You will be asked if you want to know the sex of the baby if an ultrasound is done. Ultrasound does not always show the sex of a baby.

To Prepare

  • You may be asked to drink 1 to 2 glasses of water prior to the test so your bladder is full. If so, you should not urinate until the test is complete.

During the Test

  • You will lie on a table with your stomach showing.
  • Warm gel is put on to your tummy and an electronic wand is moved across the gel to form images.
  • During the scan you may be able to see the pictures on the screen
  • The staff will talk to you about the pictures during and after the scan.

Talk to the staff if you have any questions or concerns.

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