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What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to project a picture of an embryo or a fetus in the womb. Ultrasound technology works by sensing and receiving sound waves off the developing fetus. Echoes from the waves are converted into an image called a sonogram, which is projected onto a monitor. Ultrasound technology has been used for over 30 years, with no identifiable risks. Ultrasonography is widely regarded among medical professionals as a safe procedure. The ultrasound offered at Parkridge will:

  • Confirm the pregnancy
  • Establish a due date
  • Identify possible miscarriage
  • Rule out the possibility of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy

Why do I need to get an ultrasound if I’m considering abortion?

Abortion is the elective termination of a viable pregnancy (*viability denotes a pregnancy that can proceed and develop under normal circumstances). There are key structures in a pregnancy we look for in an ultrasound. A pregnancy-confirming ultrasound examination at Parkridge performed by a trained nurse can verify that your pregnancy is in the correct location (uterus, not fallopian tube) and can determine if there is a miscarriage or blighted ovum (empty egg) present. If one of these situations exists, then abortion may be medically unnecessary or potentially hazardous.