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If you are living in the North Idaho area and think you may be pregnant, it is important to get accurate answers by getting a pregnancy test and an ultrasound. 

What Is an Ultrasound and What Does It Do?

An ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. Using ultrasound for imaging is a standard procedure during pregnancy. Medical pregnancy clinics provide limited obstetric ultrasounds that check placement of the embryo, gestational age, and heartbeat. This imaging technique is considered safe for both mother and baby, as all it does is emit sound waves (not detectable to human ears), as opposed to the ionizing radiation used in imaging procedures like x-rays.

Abdominal ultrasounds are non-invasive procedures and are not painful at all. You may have to drink a lot of water prior to your ultrasound appointment and “hold it in” for a short period without urinating, but that is usually the extent of the preparation. As you lie on an exam table, an ultrasound technician will put a warm gel on your abdomen, and run the ultrasound probe gently over it to get the images needed.

When Should You Get an Ultrasound During Pregnancy?

The ultrasound is typically done during the first trimester, around 6-8 weeks after the last menstrual period (LMP). This is accomplished to determine the proper placement of the embryo, gestational age, and heartbeat. 

If you have conditions like obesity or asthma or any other health condition that can affect pregnancy or is affected by a pregnancy, or if you have a history of problems with pregnancies, your doctor may recommend that you have more frequent ultrasounds. If your doctor detects something during an ultrasound that indicates a serious problem, your doctor will discuss the options available to you.

Why Get an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound during pregnancy is a standard part of prenatal care. At Open Arms Real Choices clinic, we offer many services at no cost or for low cost, including limited obstetric ultrasounds. Ultrasounds offer valuable information to allow you to make the choice that is right for you. If you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy, contact us today at Open Arms Real Choices Clinic to schedule an appointment.

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