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How Ultrasounds Can Benefit You Even If You're Not Pregnant

When you think of an OB/GYN’s office and an ultrasound, the first thing that usually comes to mind are those grainy black and white photos of babies in utero displayed prominently on refrigerators everywhere. The fact is, ultrasounds are also extremely valuable diagnostic tools when it comes to women’s health.

Here at Capital Women's Care in McLean and Arlington, Virginia, our OB/GYNs turn to ultrasound technology to get a closer look at your reproductive organs in order to detect, and treat, a number of medical issues. While these images may not be refrigerator-worthy, they serve a high purpose when it comes to your health.

Here’s a look at how ultrasounds can benefit you even though you’re not pregnant.

Sounding it out

The reason ultrasound technology is so widely used is because of its ability to deliver “images” of your organs without the use of radiation, like in X-rays, and without the need for us to go in surgically for a first-hand look.

Ultrasounds use sonography, or sound wave technology, which travels harmlessly through your skin until it reaches a mass, at which point it sends back an echo. This constant back and forth between the sound waves we emit and the returning echoes come together to provide us with fairly accurate images of your pelvic organs.

Ultrasounds are great tools for soft tissue imaging, which we use to study your ovaries, uterus, endometrium, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, and bladder. Once the sonography sends back echoes of the structures inside your pelvic region, we’re able to spot any irregularities and determine whether they warrant further investigation.

Diagnostically speaking

At our two locations, the OB/GYNs consider the ultrasound the workhorse of their diagnostic tools. This simple, noninvasive test allows us to check on a host of conditions, including:

When it comes to infertility issues, the ultrasound allows us a unique perspective that can either rule out or confirm potential problems that may require treatment in order to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

In addition to diagnosing reproductive issues, the ultrasound is extremely useful in determining whether there’s a problem with your IUD, which can sometimes move out of place and cause heavy bleeding.

Whatever your issue or concern, the ultrasound is typically our first chance to take a peek at what’s going inside to help us determine the next steps.

The ultrasound process

As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest advantages of ultrasound technology is its lack of risk. For many ultrasounds, we simply put a special gel on your lower abdomen and roll a transducer over the area.

To help diagnose some gynecologic problems, we may perform a saline ultrasound or transvaginal ultrasound. During a saline ultrasound, we fill your uterus with a sterile saline solution, which allows for a better view of your intrauterine cavity. During a transvaginal ultrasound, we insert a long, thin transducer vaginally to obtain images. We’re equipped to perform these ultrasounds right in our offices for your convenience.

The other big advantage of the sonographic technology is that it delivers real-time information so we can take action immediately. There’s no need for us to send out the information for analysis, although we do often consult each other on our findings. This allows us to get you started on an appropriate treatment plan as quickly as possible.

That said, we should point out that ultrasound imaging isn’t exactly high definition. If we spot an irregularity, we may continue our investigation with an hysteroscopy or colposcopy.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of ultrasound technology for your pelvic and reproductive health, please feel free to give us a call, or use our online scheduler on this website to book an appointment.

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