OB (Obstetric) Ultrasound


What is an OB ultrasound and what does it do?

Obstetrical ultrasound provides pictures of an embryo or fetus within a woman's uterus, as well as the mother's uterus and ovaries.

A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of an obstetrical ultrasound examination.

Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body's major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.During an obstetrical ultrasound the examiner may evaluate blood flow in the umbilical cord or may, in some cases, assess blood flow in the fetus or placenta.
  • Obstetrical ultrasound is a useful clinical test to:
  • establish the presence of a living embryo/fetus.
  • estimate the age of the pregnancy.
  • diagnose congenital abnormalities of the fetus.
  • evaluate the position of the fetus.
  • evaluate the position of the placenta.
  • determine if there are multiple pregnancies.
  • determine the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby.
  • check for opening or shortening of the cervix.
  • assess fetal growth.
  • assess fetal well-being.
The radiologist or sonographer may elect to examine an early pregnancy by means of transvaginal ultrasound in order to see the pregnancy more closely.

For a Transvaginal ultrasound, a thin, lubricated transducer probe will be gently inserted into your vagina. Only the tip of the transducer is put in the vagina.

Who performs the test?

An ultrasonographer specifically trained or certified in Ultrasound imaging.

Where does it take place?

Jackson Hospital Outpatient Center Hudnall Building, Room 110, located adjacent to the Hospital

How long does it take?

This exam generally takes about 30 minutes to complete.

What you can do to make it a success?

  • Bring your doctor’s orders with you when you come for your scheduled exam.
  • Wear comfortable, easy to remove clothing.
  • Follow all preparation instructions given to you by your physician’s office. If you have any questions, please call us for clarification. We want your exam to be as successful as possible.

What to do before your exam?

For OB patients less than 14 weeks: You will need to have a full bladder prior to having your ultrasound exam. Please drink 32 ounces one hour prior to your appointment time.

For OB patients greater than 14 weeks: No preparation.

What happens during your exam?

First, the technologist will explain the exam and may ask you historical questions that aid in obtaining a more diagnostic exam. You will lie on your back (or on your side) on a padded exam table. Warmed gel will be spread on your abdomen to improve the quality of the sound waves. A small handheld unit called a transducer is pressed against your abdomen and moved back and forth over it. A picture of the organs and blood vessels can be seen on a video monitor.

You may be asked to change positions so more scans can be done.

You need to lie very still while the ultrasound scan is being done. You may be asked to take a breath and hold it for several seconds during the scanning. This lets the sonographer see organs and structures more clearly because they are not moving

If a transvaginal ultrasound is warranted, you will be asked empty your bladder. You will lie on your back with your feet placed in stirrups.

A thin, lubricated transducer probe will be gently inserted into your vagina. Only the tip of the transducer is put in the vagina. You need to lie very still while the ultrasound scan is being done.

What to do after your exam?

The radiologist will review your image(s) and a final report will go to your ordering physician in 24-48 hours.

Contact Information:

Ultrasound Department (at main hospital): (850) 718-2582
Ultrasound Department (at OP Center): (850) 526-6702
Radiology Department: (850) 718-2580
Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200