In an ultrasound, sound waves of high frequency are used that helps to image the baby that is developing in the woman’s womb. It is also used to see the woman’s reproductive organs. The number of pregnancy ultrasound that a woman will need depends on the individual.
Ultrasound is also known as sonogram and helps to monitor the development of the fetus. It lets the doctor screen for any problems. Apart from the standard ultrasound, there are others like 3D ultrasound, 4D ultrasound and fetal echocardiography which are used to see the heart of the foetus.
Why does the doctor perform a pregnancy ultrasound?
There could be various reasons why a pregnancy ultrasound would be required. The doctor may ask for more ultrasound tests if a problem is detected in the blood test or in a previous ultrasound. There could be some non-medical reasons too why an ultrasound may be required. While ultrasound is safe for the child and the mother, still doctors do not encourage an ultrasound if there is no reason to get it done.
Why would your doctor ask you to get an ultrasound done?
There are many uses of a pregnancy ultrasound. Some of them are:
- To make sure that the woman is pregnant
- To check the growth and the age of the baby. This is used to find out the due date
- To check the baby’s heartbeat, movement, muscle tone, and its overall development
- To check for multiples
- To screen for any birth defects like heart defects of spina bifida. This is used to check if the baby is prone to these conditions. If the baby is likely to develop any of these conditions then the doctor will ask for a further diagnosis.
- To check for chorionic villus sampling or for any prenatal tests
- To examine the woman’s uterus and ovaries
- To check for any complication in pregnancy like molar pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage
Different methods of ultrasounds
There are various techniques and methods that are used in doing a pregnancy ultrasound:
- A- mode or amplitude mode is the simplest way in which an ultrasound is done
- B- mode or 2D mode is a two dimensional way in which the image is viewed
- 3D ultrasound is an ultrasound technique that is used by the gynecologists. This shows the 3D image of the fetus
- 4D ultrasound – This is similar to 3D imaging but gives the real-time fetus image
You will need to have a full bladder before the ultrasound so that the technician is able to get a clear picture of the foetus image and your reproductive organs. You will be asked to drink lots of water before the schedule. You need to have a full bladder for the ultrasound to make sure that you do not urinate.
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