Common Ultrasound Findings

    Maternal Anatomy

    • Comments will be made if any of the pelvic organs of the mother are suspicious for abnormality '- for example, if the uterus contains a fibroid or there are cysts on the ovary.
    • Cervical length is noted. Cervical length of less than two and a half centimeters has been reported to be associated with a higher incidence of preterm labor. In this circumstance, the mother will be followed more closely for premature thinning or dilatation.

    Your summary should provide:

    • Number of fetuses present
    • Appropriateness of the biometry, size, growth and estimated gestation
    • Confirmation that the fetus is living and that there is heart motion
    • Statement on any abnormalities seen in mother or baby (uterus, ovaries, cervix)
    • In second and third trimesters, a comment on the presentation of the baby (head down or breech)
    • Estimate of volume of amniotic fluid

    Ultrasound technicians are generally not at liberty to reveal the details of an ultrasound beyond what you and your partner can see for yourselves. If your family physician, obstetrician or perinatologist is not present, he or she will review the tape and dictate a report. The results may be available later the same day or the next day.

    About the Bladder
    If you are having a vaginal ultrasound in the first trimester, you will not need to have a full bladder. But if the scan is performed abdominally, especially in the first or early second trimester, a full bladder is very helpful to the technician. When a pregnancy is in the early stages, it is deep in the pelvis and more difficult to "reach" with ultrasound. A full bladder elevates the uterus a bit and moves the loops of bowel away from the uterus. Ultrasound beams go through water better than air, so structures are more easily discerned.

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