Frequently Asked Questions


How should I prepare for my pregnancy ultrasound?

 

Pregnancy ultrasounds are performed mainly using transabdominal ultrasound (scan through the maternal abdomen).

We usually get better images during transabdominal ultrasound if the bladder is partially filled, so to help your examination we ask you to drink water prior to your assessment. Please empty your bladder 1 hour before your appointment, drink 2 glasses of water and try not to empty your bladder again until after your ultrasound. A full bladder moves bowel out from your pelvis into your abdomen, helping visualisation of the pregnancy, uterus and cervix.

Your bladder should not be so full that it causes pain. If your bladder is very full and painful, you should empty a small amount so that you are more comfortable.

Sometimes a transvaginal ultrasound (internal scan through the vagina) is also needed, especially in the first trimester. We may need a closer look at your baby, the position of the placenta, or the length of the cervix. Transvaginal ultrasound during all stages of pregnancy is safe and will not harm either you or your baby. Your sonographer will be experienced at performing these ultrasounds during pregnancy.

For more information on your pregnancy ultrasound, please refer to the sections dealing with the different types of pregnancy ultrasound:


How should I prepare for my pelvic ultrasound?

Most pelvic ultrasounds are performed using both transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound.

We usually get better images during transabdominal ultrasound if the bladder is partially filled, so to help your examination we ask you to drink water prior to your assessment. Please empty your bladder 1 hour before your appointment, drink 2 glasses of water and try not to empty your bladder again until after your ultrasound. A full bladder moves bowel out from your pelvis into your abdomen, helping visualisation of the uterus, ovaries and pelvis.

Your bladder should not be so full that it causes pain. If your bladder is very full and painful, you should empty a small amount so that you are more comfortable.

You will be able to empty your bladder before the transvaginal ultrasound begins.

You always have a choice about whether transvaginal ultrasound is performed. If you have concerns about transvaginal ultrasound, please discuss this with your referring doctor or your sonographer before your pelvic ultrasound begins.

For more information on your pelvic ultrasound, please refer to the section dealing with pelvic ultrasound:


How should I prepare for a sonohysterogram or HyCoSy procedure?

It is important that you are not pregnant when you have either a sonohysterogram or a HyCoSy, as these tests can disturb the implantation of the embryo.

The best time to perform a sonohysterogram or HyCoSy is just after your period has finished, approximately day 7 to day 10 of a regular 28-day (monthly) menstrual cycle (the first day of your period is counted as day 1).

If your menstrual cycle is shorter than 28 days (for example, you usually only have 21 days between periods), you will need to have the test earlier in the cycle.

If your menstrual cycle is longer than 28 days, but still regular (for example, you usually have 35 days between periods), you may be able to have the test later in the cycle if that is more convenient.

If your periods are infrequent or irregular, please discuss the optimal time for the test with your doctor or our reception staff.

If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, the procedure will need to be postponed.

You do not need a full bladder for this test, unless you are also booked for a pelvic ultrasound on the same day.

No anaesthetic is required for this procedure. The level of pain experienced during a sonohysterogram or HyCoSy is variable, but most women experience only mild to moderate cramping period-type discomfort during the test. We suggest that you take 2 naprogesic tablets 30-60 minutes before the procedure, to minimise your discomfort.

You can eat and drink normally before and after the test.

For more information on your sonohysterogram or HyCoSy, please refer to the section dealing with these procedures:


Do I need a referral?

Yes. All ultrasounds and procedures performed at Advanced Women’s Imaging require a referral from your doctor.


Who can I bring to my pregnancy ultrasound?

Pregnancy is an exciting time for couples, families and friends. We understand that your ultrasound is an opportunity to bond with your growing baby. You may wish to bring your partner or other support person to share in this special time.

Young children, especially very young children, do not usually find ultrasounds entertaining or exciting. They may even become distressed by being in a dark room with strangers examining their mother. If you must bring young children, you should bring another adult if possible so that if your child becomes upset or distracting, there is someone to look after them and take them outside if needed. This is especially important if you are attending for prenatal diagnosis (CVS or amniocentesis).

We aim to make your experience at Advanced Women’s Imaging memorable and enjoyable, however it is important to remember that your ultrasound is primarily a medical examination, assessing your baby for significant problems that can sometimes occur. Your sonographer needs to be able to concentrate, and the presence of young children or many family members can sometimes be distracting. We would please ask that you keep this in mind when planning your visit to us.


Will I be given pictures of my baby?

We aim to make your experience at Advanced Women’s Imaging memorable. We will give you images of your baby in a variety of formats, so you can share this exciting time with your family and friends.

We will provide selected printed images of your baby. These will usually be images that you can recognise, for example, the baby’s face or hands.

We will provide a CD version of your ultrasound images, so you can copy, email and print at home as you desire. This CD will contain a series of still ultrasound images.

You do not need to bring your own CD. We prefer to use our own CDs, provided at no additional charge.

In the interests of the environment and minimising waste, you may decide to limit what image formats you receive from us (for example, CD only with no printed images). Please let your sonographer know what image formats you prefer.

If more images are needed by either you or your doctor, these can be readily provided. All our ultrasound images are electronically stored for ready access if needed. This can be particularly important if comparisons with previous ultrasounds are needed (for example, following the progress of an abnormality).


How much time should I allow for my ultrasound?

You should try to arrive for your ultrasound at least 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will give you time to relax before your scan and complete patient information forms at reception.

If you are late, your appointment may need to be re-scheduled at the next available time.

To avoid stress, you should allow up to 1 ½ hours for your appointment. This is usually adequate time for your ultrasound to be performed and reviewed, the report to be written, your images to be prepared, and your consultation with the ultrasound doctor.

Most appointments do not take this length of time however delays are sometimes unavoidable due to difficult or complicated ultrasounds. It is important that we are able to take the time needed to ensure an accurate and thorough assessment occurs for all patients. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.


How much will my ultrasound cost?

The service we offer at Advanced Women’s Imaging is personal, professional and thorough, providing specialist obstetric and gynaecologic imaging. Because of this level of service, we are unable to routinely offer bulk billing.

When you book your appointment, our reception staff will advise you of the cost of the ultrasound and the expected Medicare rebate. We have EFTPOS facilities and accept cash, MasterCard and VISA. We do not accept AMEX or Diners Credit Cards.

We prefer payment in full on the day of your ultrasound.

Medicare will rebate 85% of the Medicare schedule fee if you have a valid Medicare card and a medical referral. We suggest that you consider registering for the Medicare safety net, entitling you to access the benefits of this scheme.

If you have difficulties with the cost of your ultrasound, you should discuss this with your referring doctor, or alternatively, our friendly reception staff may be able to assist you with your enquiries.


Does it cost extra to have 3D/4D images of my baby?

At Advanced Women’s Imaging, we do not charge extra for 3D/4D images.

These 3D/4D images will usually be performed at the end of your routine 2D ultrasound, after we have checked that your baby is healthy and developing normally.

Standard fees will apply for your pregnancy ultrasound and you will still require a referral from your doctor.

For more information on 3D/4D ultrasound, please refer to the section dealing with this ultrasound:


Will the ultrasound doctor discuss the results of my scan with me?

Advanced Women’s Imaging is different from many ultrasound and radiology practices.

We provide a personal and professional service with a specialist doctor in the practice to review your ultrasound as it is being performed. Dr Denise Ladwig is a specialist obstetrician/gynaecologist who has additional training and expertise in women's ultrasound. Dr Ladwig will meet with you after the ultrasound to discuss your results and answer any questions. We understand that you may be anxious about your ultrasound and hope this consultation provides reassurance and information.

You may not wish to wait for this consultation with our doctor and plan to just return to your referring doctor to discuss the results. If you do not wish to wait for this consultation, please talk about this with your sonographer at the end of your ultrasound.


When can I find out the sex of my baby?

We understand that pregnancy is an exciting time and know that many families are keen to find out the sex of their baby during the pregnancy. The gender of the baby can usually be determined at the 18-20 week morphology ultrasound.

If you are planning prenatal diagnosis (CVS or amniocentesis), the sex of the baby can be accurately determined from this test.

It is good for parents to keep in mind that the pregnancy ultrasound is primarily a medical examination, assessing your baby for significant problems that can sometimes occur. Establishing the gender of your baby is important to us, but you should remember that your sonographer also has many other important things to examine to ensure that your baby is healthy and developing normally.

It is not always possible to establish your baby’s gender with certainty. The position of your baby as well as other factors may hinder the ultrasound’s view of this area of the baby.

If you want to know the sex of your baby, please tell your sonographer at the beginning of the examination. This will give us multiple opportunities to establish the gender of your baby.

If you do not want to know the sex of your baby, please tell your sonographer at the beginning of the ultrasound. The sonographer will then not focus on this area during the scan.


Is ultrasound safe during my pregnancy?

Ultrasound is safe for your baby. It has been used to assess pregnancies for many years and there is no evidence that ultrasound causes any serious birth defects or harmful effects to babies. Both transabdominal (through the abdomen) and transvaginal (internal scan through the vagina) ultrasound are considered safe in pregnancy.

There is no evidence that ultrasound causes harm to developing babies, however it is suggested by many authorities (for example, the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine) that ultrasound only be performed when it is medically indicated.

If you have any further concerns about the safety of ultrasound, please discuss this with your referring doctor.


Where can I park?

Ample parking is available outside Advanced Women's Imaging and Sunshine Coast Radiology but we suggest you allow sufficient time to find parking so that you are not late for your appointment. Alternatively, you may have a family member or friend who can drop you off for your appointment while they park the car.