The pregnancy test is positive. You’ve taken home test after home test, and maybe even had one at the doctor’s office or at Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic. Your mind is a washing machine with thoughts and questions on a spin-cycle. One in particular clunks around, circling around the rest: Now what? One important component for any of us to understand our pregnancy is to have an ultrasound. An ultrasound provides us with valuable data that a pregnancy test can’t.
Using high-frequency sound waves, a prenatal ultrasound forms a live video stream of what’s going on in our abdomens. A nurse will use the ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and make sure that it is in the uterus. If the pregnancy is outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy), it’s vital to get medical attention right away. An ultrasound can help a medical professional see that. Though rare, if an ectopic pregnancy is left undiscovered, it can cause serious damage to our bodies.
Also, because a lot of factors influence our menstrual cycles, using the date of our last menstrual period to determine how far along we are may not be accurate. During an ultrasound, the nurse will be able to measure the length of baby to determine its gestational age. This will show how far along we are in our pregnancy. The nurse will also measure baby’s heart rate to make sure it is healthy.
Ultrasounds provide information necessary in helping us figure out our next steps. Even if someone is considering an abortion, she would need to know how far along she is to determine what type of abortion procedure would be used. Regardless of the decision, ultrasounds will give us peace of mind and vital details about the health of our own body as well as our baby’s.
Insurance companies will often cover or partially cover the costs of an ultrasound if a doctor considers it medically necessary. This doesn’t usually happen until much later in the pregnancy. However, Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic offers no-cost and confidential ultrasounds as early as 6 weeks. You won’t pay anything for any services provided to you at Lifeline, and Lifeline does not financially benefit from your decision regarding your pregnancy. Our nurses and counselors are here to provide you with the resources you need to figure out your next step. Click here to make an appointment or here to find out more information about our services.
An unexpected pregnancy can feel like chaos, but when we reach out and arm ourselves with all the information available to us, we gain a sense of control that will help us make the healthiest choice for us and our families.