What To Expect at Your First Ultrasound

Ultrasound technology has been seminal in modern medicine. Ultrasound machines were first used in the late 50s but grew in popularity to become commonplace by the 70s. Their primary function was to monitor the health and development of fetuses and their mothers. Ultrasound technology has significantly improved; today, it is used in many medical settings to diagnose and observe medical conditions. So, regardless of why you are getting one, you probably want to know what to expect at your first ultrasound.

How Does Ultrasound Technology Work?

Ultrasound technology uses sound waves in much the same way dolphins and bats use echolocation to navigate their environment. By producing high-frequency sound waves which bounce off objects, they can ‘see’ using sound. In the case of ultrasound, the soundwaves bounce off the bones and organs in the patient while the machine deciphers the resulting information to produce an image which the doctor can then use to diagnose the patient.

What To Expect During a Pregnancy Ultrasound

Women typically have their first ultrasound eight to twelve weeks into their pregnancy unless they are at risk of a miscarriage, in which case they will go for their first ultrasound at six weeks. If your scan is after 12 weeks, the sonographer or doctor will advise you to prepare for your ultrasound by drinking enough water to ensure your bladder is full and having something sugary to eat beforehand. These measures will ensure the fetus is more active, and the sonographer can get a better image of the fetus.

What To Expect During a Diagnostic Ultrasound

In the same way the soundwaves bounce off the bones and tissue of a fetus, they will bounce off your bones, organs, and other tissue. Advancements in this technology have proven ultrasound to help detect various conditions and diseases, such as endometriosis, gallbladder disease, and genital and prostate problems. Ultrasounds also aid doctors in observing breast lumps, thyroid glands, blood flow, joint inflammation, and evaluating metabolic bone disease. Your doctor will advise you on how to prepare for the ultrasound based on the purpose of the examination. You may have to avoid certain foods or have a full bladder; in other instances, you may not have to prepare at all.

What Happens During the Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is such an incredible medical tool because it is painless and safe. Unless an ultrasound is conducted transvaginally, anally, or into the oesophagus, it is also non-invasive. To begin the exam, you will have to remove or reposition your clothing; the doctor will then apply a water-based gel on your skin over the affected area to help conduct the soundwaves. Your doctor will then push a small handheld device, known as a transducer, along the skin to capture the images.

Ultrasounds are most commonly used on pregnant women to monitor the development of their babies. Over the course of the pregnancy, the doctor or sonographer will be able to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, estimate the due date, determine the gender, evaluate the heartbeat, and more. If you need reproductive healthcare or are pregnant, contact a professional gynaecological clinic today to book an appointment for an ultrasound.

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.