At Northwest Women's Health ultrasound is part and parcel of our work. Using modern ultrasound machines both obstetric and gynaecologic problems are monitored in house.
When appropriate, referral to outside ultrasound practices are used where further definition or a second opinion is required. Having the ultrasound available in our practice often provides the answer we are seeking immediately, thus avoiding unnecessary delay and stress to the patient.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to build up a picture of your body on a television screen. It has been used for many years now and is considered safe.
Obstetric Ultrasound is useful for many reasons. Your doctor may routinely do an ultrasound during your antenatal visit. This is to check for your baby’s growth and well-being.
It can also be used for:
Detection of multiple pregnancy
Assessing the gestational age of the fetus
Checking for abnormalities in the pregnancy
Determining the position of the fetus and location of the placenta
Assessment of the cervix to exclude premature labour
Monitoring the amniotic fluid around the fetus
An Obstetric Ultrasound is a painless procedure, no anaesthetic is required. There are no known risks to you or your baby from having an ultrasound. If you have any concerns regarding the ultrasound please let your doctor know.
A gynaecological or pelvic ultrasound is one of the main investigations used to assess the pelvic contents. This examination can be done in two ways: transabdominal and transvaginal. Sometimes, both are needed to give your doctors all the information required.
For optimal imaging a full bladder is required for a transabdominal ultrsound. This means you need to drink one or two glasses of water one hour before your appointment. On the other hand, transvaginal ultrasound requires an empty bladder to obtain the best pictures. Instructions with be provided at the time of your appointment.
Transabdominal ultrasound: To perform an ultrasound, a gel will be placed onto your lower abdomen and a small transducer is then guided over the skin to obtain a picture. The examination is usually painless.
Transvaginal ultrasound: This is an internal examination where the ultrasound transducer is inserted in the vagina. Much clearer imaging is obtained of the organs making this a most useful test. This examination is done in privacy and a nurse will be present with you at all times. If you wish you may bring a chaperone with you.
A very slim ultrasound transducer (covered with a condom for hygiene reasons) will be lubricated with gel and gently inserted into the lower part of the vagina (birth canal). Most patients find this painless. Please let the doctor know if you are allergic to latex.
If you have never been sexually active, then transvaginal ultrasound may be an inappropriate examination for you. Your doctor will generally be performing an abdominal scan on you.
Ultrasound can be performed even if you are bleeding. However, if you would prefer to attend at another time please contact reception to reschedule your appointment.