Most everyone is familiar with X-rays and their diagnostic use, but ultrasounds can play an important role, too. Whether you're pregnant and seeking information about your unborn baby or are suffering from a medical issue like pelvic pain, infertility, or another ailment, this imaging method can provide vital insight.
Dr. Thomas Hatchett, Britteny Barron, our midwife nurse practitioner, and our highly skilled staff at Habersham OBGYN in Demorest, Georgia, provide a wide range of integrative health care services for women of all ages. With our compassionate, individualized care and state-of-the-art technology and protocols, we can help patients navigate stages of life from prenatal and obstetrics to menopause and more.
Also known as a sonogram, an ultrasound is an imaging test that can create a picture of organs, structures, and more using sound waves. Unlike an X-ray, it does not use radiation and is one of the most common and safest types of imaging tests available.
There are two main types of ultrasounds — pregnancy ultrasounds and diagnostic ultrasounds.
A pregnancy ultrasound can provide critical information about the health of an unborn baby including confirming the pregnancy, whether it's a single or multiple, and helping determine his or her age. Other benefits include checking the size and position, evaluating for possible birth defects, and measuring the amount of amniotic fluid.
Diagnostic ultrasounds can help determine the source of a problem such as pelvic pain or abnormal menstrual bleeding. It can also be used in the diagnosis of infertility and monitoring of infertility treatments.
Ultrasounds typically take little or no preparation, though sometimes a full bladder is recommended to be able to see reproductive organs better.
At our practice, ultrasounds are conducted in our office by a certified expert with more than 20 years' experience. Depending on her clothes, a woman may need to change into a hospital gown.
During an abdominal ultrasound, clear gel is applied to the abdomen or pelvic area to encourage better transmission of sound waves. The transducer wand is moved over the region to generate an image on a monitor.
In some cases, a transvaginal ultrasound may be required either on its own or in addition to an abdominal ultrasound, particularly in cases of pelvic pain or infertility. This procedure is similar to an abdominal ultrasound but the wand is gently inserted into the vagina.
For pregnancy ultrasounds, results are often given during the exam. If it is a diagnostic ultrasound, sometimes findings are explained the same day or if other lab tests are needed, results may be conveyed several days later after the doctor has analyzed everything.
Whether you're expecting a baby or having a gynecologic issue, ultrasounds can play a crucial role in the quest for good health. Call our office at 706-229-4718 for an appointment today or book one online.