Ultrasound Specialists

Ultrasound technology is one of the most indispensable diagnostic tools in women’s healthcare, providing physicians with a safe, non-invasive way to visualize the structures inside your body. In addition to its common use in monitoring fetal development throughout pregnancy, ultrasound technology is also routinely used to help diagnose many common gynecological problems. The experienced team of women’s health experts at Total Woman Care in Elkin, North Carolina provide comprehensive ultrasound services. To learn more, call or book your appointment online today.

How does an ultrasound work?

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create accurate images of the structures inside your body, including your organs.

Also known as sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, ultrasound imaging uses a handheld device known as a transducer to send sound waves through your body, where they come in contact with organs, tissues, fluids, and bones. Like echoes, the sound waves bounce back to the transducer, which turns them into pictures that can be viewed on a video screen.

Ultrasounds are performed in two ways:

- Transabdominally: After the ultrasound technician applies a lubricating gel to the surface of your skin, she will then pass the transducer across your abdomen. Prior to a transabdominal ultrasound, you may be asked to drink several glasses of water so that you have a full bladder. This will help the technician see your internal structures more clearly.

- Transvaginally: During a transvaginal ultrasound, a wand-shaped transducer is covered with a latex sheath, lubricated, and inserted into your vagina. The team will recommend that you empty your bladder for this test. Transvaginal ultrasounds aren’t used during pregnancy.    

Why are regular ultrasounds important during pregnancy?

Ultrasounds are the primary tool for monitoring fetal development during pregnancy. They’re used to check fetal position, movement and heart rate, estimate the fetal size and gestational age, and view the amount of amniotic fluid and location of the placenta, among other things.

Your first fetal ultrasound, which is usually done in the first trimester, helps confirm your due date. If you aren’t considered high-risk, your next ultrasound will take place in the second trimester, usually between 18 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.

This ultrasound is used to screen for abnormalities and assess your baby’s gender, if desired. If your baby’s health needs to be monitored more closely, you may be asked to have additional ultrasounds.

The team at Total Woman Care provides advanced ultrasound imaging in a specially designed family viewing room that’s equipped with multiple high-definition screens. 

How are ultrasounds used in gynecological care?

Ultrasounds are also used to help diagnose or treat common gynecological health issues. The technology is commonly used to help evaluate, diagnose, and treat a mass in the pelvic region, such as an ovarian cyst or a uterine fibroid.

It’s also useful when looking for causes of pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding, monitoring infertility treatments, diagnosing fertility problems, and locating an IUD for removal.

Do ultrasounds pose any health risks?

The low-frequency sound waves used by ultrasounds are considered safe, in that there are no known health risks. Currently, no links have been found between ultrasounds and birth defects, premature birth, developmental problems, or childhood cancer.

Because it’s always possible, however, that negative effects may be identified in the future, it’s recommended that ultrasounds should only be performed as needed, and nonessential ultrasounds should be avoided during pregnancy.

The team at Total Woman Care can answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about ultrasound testing.