Ultrasound technology forms a cornerstone of OBGYN care, letting your care team learn more about the interior of your body without invasive surgery. At Longoria OBGYN in El Paso, Texas, Dr. Leonardo Longoria uses ultrasounds for many medical and diagnostic purposes related to your care.
Why might Dr. Longoria suggest you receive an ultrasound exam? Here are eight ways ultrasound imaging safely and non-invasively contributes to your health care, including during pregnancy.
1. Peeking in on your pregnancy
Ultrasounds are a basic part of your prenatal care, used to observe the progression of your pregnancy. Since ultrasound technology doesn’t involve radiation, it’s safe for use during pregnancy and won’t harm you or your growing baby.
During your ultrasound, you rest in comfort on an exam table. Dr. Longoria uses an ultrasound transducer wand to examine your abdomen or lower pelvis. By moving this wand over the examination area, Dr. Longoria sends sound waves into your body. When they bounce back, computer imaging forms them into an accurate picture of the interior of your body.
2. Tracking fetal development
Dr. Longoria uses specialized 3D ultrasound imaging to examine your developing fetus at several points throughout your pregnancy. Ultrasound imaging lets Dr. Longoria detect any potential issues with your pregnancy as early as possible.
If needed, your ultrasound can proceed to a more complex sonohysterogram exam. You may also need a transvaginal ultrasound, using an ultrasound wand inserted into your vaginal canal, to observe fetal brain development or check for pregnancy complications like placenta previa.
3. Screening your cervix
Ultrasounds aren’t just part of pregnancy care. They’re also an essential tool that Dr. Longoria uses to screen your organs for potential conditions, complications, and health issues.
For example, transvaginal ultrasounds allow Dr. Longoria to view your cervix, the opening to your uterus. Your cervix can be affected by cancer, and ultrasounds provide important information related to screening for and diagnosing cervical cancer.
4. Checking up on your uterus
Dr. Longoria may also order an ultrasound exam to check on suspected cancer or other issues in your uterus like uterine fibroids. You need a transvaginal ultrasound for uterine imaging so that Dr. Longoria can get a clear picture of your uterine lining.
5. Observing your ovaries
Signs of ovarian cancer or ovarian cysts mean that Dr. Longoria may recommend an ultrasound exam of your ovaries. You may also need an ovarian ultrasound if you’ve been suffering from irregular periods or pelvic pain.
6. Addressing endometriosis
If you suffer from symptoms like heavy or painful periods, you may be affected by endometriosis. This condition occurs when the tissues meant to line your uterus start to develop in other locations around your pelvis.
While ultrasound imaging can’t actually see endometriosis, Dr. Longoria may still start your diagnosis process with an ultrasound exam. Ultrasounds often successfully identify large clumps of tissue characteristic of endometriosis, especially in your ovaries.
7. Understanding infertility
If you’ve been trying to conceive for 12 months or more without success, it’s time to start learning more about the potential causes of your infertility. Often, these issues, once identified, can be addressed, allowing you and your partner to successfully become pregnant. Or, you may need to begin evaluating alternate options.
Looking at your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries with an ultrasound exam gives Dr. Longoria more information and guides the next steps in your fertility journey.
8. Caring for urinary issues
Ultrasound exams aren’t just for your reproductive organs. Dr. Longoria may also recommend an ultrasound to look at your bladder to better understand any urinary issues you might be experiencing.
For expert ultrasound imaging and OBGYN care, contact Longoria OBGYN. Schedule your consultation by calling our office today or requesting a visit online anytime.