TLC Perinatal PA

Maternal Fetal Medicine & Perinatal Specialist located in Silver Spring, Germantown, and Hagerstown, Maryland

An ultrasound, also known as a sonogram, is one of the most common tests women go through time and time again throughout their pregnancy. The expert team of board-certified OB/GYNs and radiologists at TLC Perinatal PA perform high-definition ultrasound testing in the practice’s Silver Spring, Germantown, and Hagerstown, Maryland, clinic locations. Book your visit online or call your nearest office today.

Ultrasound Q & A

Why do I need an ultrasound?

An ultrasound uses sounds or vibrations to capture live images of your internal organs and growing fetus. Because this imaging test doesn’t expose you to radiation, as with an X-ray, the entire test is safe to have throughout your pregnancy.

Your OB/GYN requests ultrasound imaging for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s often one of the primary tests you have to confirm you’re pregnant in the first place. Then, as you progress through your pregnancy, your OB/GYN performs ultrasound testing to:

  • Check for birth defects
  • Rule out an ectopic pregnancy
  • Track fetal growth milestones
  • Listen to your baby’s heartbeat
  • Determine the gender of your baby
  • Check for low levels of amniotic fluid or bleeding
  • Determine your baby’s age and your due date

The ultrasound is a quick and painless tool that’s performed several times throughout various stages of your pregnancy.

What happens during an ultrasound?

Most ultrasounds you go through during pregnancy are transabdominal, meaning they’re performed over your abdomen. All you have to do is lie back and relax.

Your technician places warm clear gel over your abdomen and glides the handheld transducer instrument over your belly. The transducer sends a live feed directly to a monitor and you can watch your baby’s movements as they’re happening.

Occasionally — more commonly in your first trimester — your OB/GYN might request a transvaginal ultrasound to get a closer look at your reproductive organs. This type of ultrasound is similar, but the small transducer probe is instead inserted into your vagina. If you do need a transvaginal ultrasound, it’s common for TLC Perinatal PA practitioners to perform a transabdominal ultrasound during the same visit.

How do I prepare for an ultrasound?

Because your ultrasound at TLC Perinatal PA is an entirely routine noninvasive, painless, in-office test, you don’t have to make any major preparations beforehand. But it can be helpful to wear clothing that easily exposes your abdomen. You can always change into a medical gown if needed during your visit.

To help push up your reproductive organs, your OB/GYN might ask you to have a partially full or completely full bladder before your ultrasound. In this case, the team at TLC Perinatal PA encourages you to drink lots of water before your ultrasound appointment, or arrive about 20-30 minutes early to drink water in the waiting area.

Schedule your ultrasound exam at TLC Perinatal PA today. Click on the online scheduler or call any location to speak with a team member.