Understanding Your Ultrasound: Three Things To Consider Before Your Appointment

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Understanding Your Ultrasound: Three Things To Consider Before Your Appointment

For many patients who are about to get an ultrasound, there may be some questions. Will the procedure hurt? How long will it last? What will the ultrasound show? For those who have questions, know that there are answers and means of support through your trusted healthcare provider. Here are a few ways you can better prepare for your upcoming obstetrical ultrasound

Do Some Research Beforehand

There are several different types of obstetrical ultrasounds and it is recommended that you research the procedure before your appointment. This will give you a clear idea of what to expect and guarantee there are no surprises along the way. Transvaginal ultrasounds, for example, are performed internally with a wand-like instrument and are typically used in the earlier stages of pregnancy. Depending on the stage of pregnancy each patient may be in at the time of the ultrasound, more or less detail can be seen. Some patients, for instance, would prefer not to look at the ultrasound during or after the procedure. Consider what you feel comfortable with and express this to your doctor. 

Voice Your Concerns

Getting an ultrasound for any reason can be a stressful and sometimes emotional event. Whatever the reason is that you need an ultrasound, be sure to vocalize all of your concerns and ask any questions that you may have about the procedure. Be rest assured that your doctor has heard it all and nothing is off-limits when it comes to what to talk about regarding the ultrasound. Many patients may feel as though they are over-exaggerating their fears regarding an ultrasound but remember that these are completely normal feelings. What will help you overcome these concerns is clear communication with your healthcare provider before, during, and after the procedure. 

Guidance from Your Doctor

While your doctor performs the ultrasound, they will gently guide you through the process from beginning to end. This will ensure that you feel safe and comfortable with the procedure as well as educated on what actions are being performed. If a transvaginal ultrasound is used, for example, your doctor will show you the ultrasound wand beforehand and explain the process in full such as when lubrication is added and any discomfort you may feel as a normal part of the procedure. Try to relax as much as possible but be vocal about any sensations such as pressure or pain you may feel. While this may be a normal part of the process, it will still help your doctor get a clear idea of how you are doing.

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