So you have a positive pregnancy test. You may be excited about it, or this might be the scariest thing you’ve ever faced. Regardless of how you are feeling about that positive test, your first step should involve getting a medical confirmation of your pregnancy, which typically includes having an ultrasound.
If you are wondering why an ultrasound is necessary, this post is for you! There are several benefits to having an ultrasound:
- An ultrasound measures how far along your pregnancy is. The sonographer is trained to look for specific things. One of those things involves measuring the size of the pregnancy to determine how far developed this pregnancy is. At Skylark, our nurses have received special training to perform ultrasounds. They measure the size of the pregnancy as well as measure the heart rate. When you first receive a positive pregnancy test, the medical staff (regardless of where you go) will estimate your due date based on your last menstrual period. However, this is only an estimate! If your period is irregular, or if you are not quite certain when it was, this estimate may not be accurate. The only way to get an accurate measurement is through ultrasound.
- An ultrasound proves the pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy is one that has implanted in the uterus and is developing normally. An ultrasound verifies the placement of implantation and can identify if something looks abnormal. If the pregnancy is not viable, it may end in miscarriage.
- Ultrasounds rule out ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is one that is growing in the wrong place in your body. While normally the baby grows inside the uterus or womb, an ectopic pregnancy can be in the fallopian tube (where the egg and sperm meet), ovary, cervix, or the abdominal cavity (belly). Since ectopic pregnancies in the fallopian tube are much more common than in other locations, we will focus on tubal pregnancy. Tubal pregnancy is a medical emergency. Failure to get help may allow rapid bleeding into your abdomen from a ruptured internal organ, occasionally causing death from shock (dangerously low blood pressure).
Skylark can offer a free ultrasound after we confirm a positive pregnancy through a urine pregnancy test. Call your closest center to schedule a pregnancy test appointment. If your test is positive, the nurse will talk to you about setting up an appointment for ultrasound. Please remember that Skylark cannot perform an ultrasound if you are already under the care of an OB-GYN as a professional courtesy.