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You may have an ultrasound to help diagnose a health condition or injury or to check for problems as part of a screening test. The scan can pick up changes in your organs, tissues, blood vessels or joints. You may also have an ultrasound as part of a medical procedure or to check how a baby is developing during pregnancy. See our section on ultrasound uses to find out more.
There are three main ways to have an ultrasound. These include:
- an external ultrasound, where an ultrasound probe is moved over the surface of your skin
- an internal ultrasound, where a probe is inserted into your vagina or back passage
- an endoscopic ultrasound, where a probe attached to a long, flexible tube called an endoscope, is used to look inside your body
Read more on these types in our section on types of ultrasound.
Sometimes the health professional carrying out your scan may be able to discuss the results straight away. But this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes they will send a report to the doctor or health professional who referred you for the test. You should ask how long it will take for the results to be sent through. Read more in our section on aftercare for ultrasound.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
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