What You Need to Know about Ultrasounds

What You Need to Know about Ultrasounds

If you’ve just received two pink lines on a home pregnancy test and are unsure of your next steps, you are not alone.

An ultrasound will give you valuable insight into the status of your pregnancy and help you make an informed decision.  

The Pregnancy Network is one of the few places in the Triad that offers free limited obstetrical ultrasounds from the early first trimester through 20 weeks gestation. Because we know that a strong support system plays a critical role in a woman’s well-being during her pregnancy, we have  implemented safety measures that allow a support person to accompany each woman in her ultrasound appointment. 

Why are Ultrasounds Beneficial?

The purpose of a limited obstetrical ultrasound is to assess three things:  

  1. Confirm viability. We will confirm that the baby is inside the uterus (rule out an ectopic pregnancy).  An ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy forming outside the uterus, is rare, but can develop into a life-threatening emergency for the pregnant mother. Early detection and intervention is key. Also of note, mifepristone, a pill commonly used in early pregnancy for abortion procedures, will not end an ectopic pregnancy and could cause complications for the pregnant woman. 
  2. Confirm gestational age. After confirming the baby’s location, the nurse will measure the baby to confirm the gestational age.
  3. Measure the heartbeat.  

Each of these pieces of information will help you become fully-informed as you make your decision.

What Can I Expect at My Ultrasound Appointment?

Before your ultrasound begins, your nurse will perform a medical grade urine pregnancy test and ask you a short series of health history questions. She will also share resources and answer any questions you have about your pregnancy options. 

Our registered nurses are trained and certified to perform ultrasounds.

The ultrasound starts with a non-invasive abdominal probe on your abdomen.  If needed, and with your consent, a transvaginal ultrasound may be performed as well.  A transvaginal ultrasound can help your nurse see a closer image of the uterus and baby early in pregnancy. It’s important to note that limited obstetrical ultrasounds do not assess fetal anatomy abnormalities, genetic disorders, or gender.  Referrals will be made for ongoing prenatal care where your preferred OBGYN who will closely oversee your care.

Watch the video below for details of what you can expect during your appointment.

All of the ultrasounds performed at The Pregnancy Network are reviewed by our three Board-Certified OB/GYN Volunteer Medical Directors. (Check out the video below for details on what our medical directors look for on an ultrasound scan.) The Pregnancy Network has a seamless referral process and refers to local women’s clinics and women’s emergency rooms for followup care if needed.

Make an Appointment Today

Click here for more information about limited obstetrical ultrasounds. 

We would love to walk alongside you as you make your decision. Click here to schedule your free pregnancy test and ultrasound, or call (336) 274-4881 today.  

Kelly Flournoy, RN

Kelly Flournoy, RN

Kelly graduated from UNC Wilmington in 2012 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her background is in public health, women’s services, and school nursing. She and her husband Ryan attend Mercy Hill Church and they love traveling to the NC mountains with their two girls.