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OB Ultrasound/Sonogram First Trimester
(5 to 14 Weeks)

About the Test

Pictures of the pregnant uterus are taken with sound waves, not x-rays.

Why this Test is Done

  • You may not remember the date of your last period.
  • You may be having some spotting, bleeding, or pain.
  • Your doctor may want to check the size/dates of the pregnancy or be sure that spotting, bleeding, or pain is not threatening the pregnancy.

Before the Test

One hour before the test, drink 24 to 32 ounces (3 to 4 large glasses) of water. Do not use the bathroom to empty your bladder. Your bladder must be full for the test. The test cannot be completed and you will be asked to drink more fluids at the hospital if your bladder is not full when you arrive. Since the uterus is located in the pelvis behind loops of bowel containing gas and air, it is important to fill the bladder with fluids to move the bowel and provide a clear view of the baby and other pelvic organs.

During the Test

  • You may be asked to change from your clothes into a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie on an exam table.
  • Warm gel is applied to you pelvis which helps to optimize the images.
  • Pictures will be taken while your bladder is full.
  • When the pictures are completed, you will be allowed to empty your bladder.
  • After you empty your bladder, an internal sonogram is done.
    • During this part of the test, you will be asked to help insert a small scanner into your vagina. The exam takes only a few extra minutes and allows us a closer look at the uterus. This is very important in an early pregnancy, because we can often see things internally that we may not yet see through the abdomen. Your doctor knows that this is part of the routine exam.

After the Test

You may be asked to wait while the images are reviewed.

Test Results

The pictures are reviewed by the radiologist and the results are sent to your doctor. The results cannot be given to you by the sonographer administering the test.

If you have any questions, call your physician or call the UPMC Hamot Ultrasound Department at 814-877-2258.

If you cannot keep your appointment, please call our scheduling department at 814-877-6123 to reschedule.

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