What is the purpose of an obstetrical ultrasound exam?
An obstetrical ultrasound exam looks at the uterus and ovaries, and at the fetus. The fetus is checked to be sure that its size is appropriate for its "age." The fetus is also checked to be sure the fetal anatomy is structurally normal.
What happens during the exam?
The patient lies on the table with the abdominal area exposed. The sonographer (technologist who performs the exam) will put a warm water-based gel on the skin surface. The gel helps to transmit sound waves by excluding air. An instrument called a transducer will be moved over the skin surface by the sonographer.
How do I prepare for this test?
You may eat regular meals prior to an obstetrical ultrasound exam.
You should have a full bladder. Please begin drinking 32 ounces (one quart) of water one hour before the exam is scheduled to begin, and do not urinate until the examination is over.
If you are scheduled for a Biophysical Profile, please eat a meal or snack one hour before the exam. A full bladder is not necessary.
How long will it take?
The exam will take approximately 35 minutes.
Will it hurt?
How will I learn the results?
You may call your physician to discuss the results.