After drinking 24-30 oz of water, you will be asked to change out of your street clothes and into a hospital gown.
In the exam room, you will be asked to lie on your back on a padded table. Your doctor will use a hand-held device known as a transducer, which directs high-frequency sound waves into the tissue being studied. After the area is gelled (gel helps conduct the ultrasound waves), the transducer is placed against the skin for imaging. If you are undergoing a transvaginal ultrasound, the transducer will be gently inserted into the vagina. The device will be covered in gel and a plastic or latex sheathe. You may experience some mild discomfort as the transducer is inserted into the vagina, but this should pass after a few moments.
As the sound waves echo off the tissue of internal tissue and organs, the transducer sends data to a computer that records the feedback and creates images. You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds as images are being taken.
This procedure usually takes about 30 minutes. Unless further testing is needed, most individuals are free to resume daily activities after their ultrasound.
After your appointment, a radiologist will review the images produced by the exam. They will then present any findings to your health care provider, who will pass on the results to you. This may take 1-3 business days, depending on the clinic. Depending on what the images show, you may not need to schedule a follow-up appointment. However, if your obstetrician identifies any possible complications or abnormalities around your pregnancy, you may be asked to book an appointment for further testing and evaluation.