How to Prepare for an Ultrasound

For minor issues that aren’t serious enough to go to the emergency room or urgent care, there’s an option for you: walk-in clinics. These are often staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants and offer fast, convenient access to medical care. Many of these clinics also offer sports physicals and vaccines.

A typical ultrasound exam takes between 30 minutes and an hour. It begins with the technician applying a gel over your skin that helps prevent air pockets from forming and keeps sound waves from entering your body.

Then, they use a handheld device (transducer) to apply low-power sound waves to the area you’re having examined, which creates images of your internal organs and tissue. The transducer’s sound waves bounce off structures inside your body and back to the probe, which converts them into electrical signals that are sent to a computer. The computer then displays the resulting images on a screen in front of you.

You may feel some pressure and a little discomfort when the Ultrasound Walk in Clinic technician applies the gel to your skin, but this is typically only temporary. If the ultrasound technician needs to insert the transducer (probe) into your vagina or rectum, you’ll likely feel some pain as well.

How to Get an Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a safe and effective way to see the inside of your body. It can help your doctor diagnose and treat a number of conditions, including heart problems, cysts or tumors. It can also be used to screen for birth defects in the fetus, like Down syndrome.

What are the different types of ultrasounds?

The most common type of ultrasound is a traditional 2D ultrasound. It produces outlines and flat-looking images, which are helpful for examining the fetus’s organs and structures.

Another type of ultrasound is a 3D ultrasound, which shows the fetus in motion, allowing your healthcare provider to evaluate its facial features. These ultrasounds are most commonly used to visualize a fetus’s development, but they’re not usually billable by insurance.

What are the differences between a 2D and a 3D ultrasound?

During a regular pregnancy, you and your healthcare provider use ultrasounds to monitor the development of the fetus. This can include checking the fetus’s size and the amount of amniotic fluid, and screening for congenital conditions such as spina bifida or anencephaly.

Your health care provider may recommend a more detailed ultrasound called an abdominal or pelvic ultrasound at various times during your pregnancy to check for certain fetal abnormalities, such as polyps or fibroids. These scans can be more detailed than an ordinary ultrasound and may include a visualization of the fetus’s spine, kidneys or bladder.

The most important thing is to find a qualified healthcare professional who can perform the ultrasound safely. This includes an ultrasound technician who has received specialized training in using the machine. The technician should also follow any specific instructions your healthcare provider gives you before performing the ultrasound.