What Is A Sonogram?

Here is a woman wondering what is a sonogram?

What do the words program, diagram, and sonogram have in common besides the word “gram?” They are all images. A sonogram is an image created by ultrasound. 


Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, you want answers, and you want them as quickly as possible. We understand. When you make an appointment with Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices, you’ll receive access to a free, lab-quality pregnancy test and a referral for a free ultrasound for those who qualify.

Ultrasound gives you much more information about your pregnancy. Before you receive an ultrasound scan, you need to take a pregnancy test. Even if you’ve taken an at-home test, we still recommend taking one of ours. Sometimes, women take over-the-counter tests at the wrong time or even incorrectly. We may refer you for ultrasound scanning if the result from your test appears positive. 

How Does Ultrasound Work?

At the time of your ultrasound, a sonographer will have you lie on an examining table. The technician will apply a gel-like substance to your abdomen and use an instrument called a transducer to rub over the gel gently. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves into your body. Then, it collects and records the echoes of those sound waves to create an image. 

A Sonogram

A sonogram is an image produced during the ultrasound. The echoes create black and white dots to form a picture. The sonographer points out what you see in the image projected on the computer.

Why You Need an Ultrasound

Even if you received a positive result on your pregnancy test, you still don’t have all of the information you need. Fetal ultrasounds help you determine if there are possible problems. You need to confirm your pregnancy with ultrasound for these reasons:

  • To evaluate the size and location of the pregnancy. Some fetuses develop outside of the uterus, in the fallopian tube. A pregnancy outside of the uterus is called an ectopic pregnancy and is extremely dangerous.
  • To estimate how long you’ve been pregnant (gestational age). Knowing how many weeks you’ve been pregnant will help you in your process.
  • To determine if the fetus is viable. A viable fetus means a heartbeat is detected, and the fetus has the possibility of growing. 

Many people use the words interchangeably. You need to remember that the ultrasound is the procedure, and the sonogram is the result. One can’t exist without the other.

Schedule an Appointment

If you suspect you’re pregnant and want to know more, schedule an appointment with us. We’ll be happy to administer a free and confidential pregnancy test and determine if you’re eligible for an ultrasound referral. Before you can choose a solution, you need to have answers. Let us help you find them.

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