Ultrasound tests use high-frequency sound waves transmitted through the abdomen using a device known as a transducer to view the inside of the stomach. The device records and transforms into photographic and video images of your unborn baby in prenatal ultrasound. Also known as a sonogram or a level I ultrasound, ultrasounds can also show pictures of the baby, amniotic sac, ovaries, and placenta during pregnancy. A doctor can identify any significant congenital disabilities or abnormalities through ultrasound in Memorial City.
In most cases, ultrasounds are done topically using a conductive material in the form of a gel to improve image quality. However, transvaginal ultrasounds use a tubular probe inserted into the vaginal canal to offer a much better image in terms of quality. It comes in handy during the early stages of pregnancy if the doctor suspects any issues affecting the uterus or ovaries. It can also help determine your gestational age. In some cases, it can evaluate cervix problems like shortening, making you more susceptible to early labor.
Is a Prenatal Ultrasound Safe?
Every medical procedure comes with some risks. However, no evidence suggests that a well-executed prenatal ultrasound can harm the mother or her unborn baby. Done correctly, in this case, means conducted by an expert such as a women’s specialist, a sonographer, or a physician. Unlike other procedures like X-rays, ultrasounds do not use radiation.
When Is an Ultrasound Done During Pregnancy?
Any expectant mother will have an ultrasound almost twenty weeks into their pregnancy. During the ultrasound, the doctor makes sure that the placenta is in good condition and checks the baby’s growth to make sure everything is as it should. They can also check the heartbeat, legs, arms, and movement of the baby.
If you want to check the gender of your baby, you can have it done by twenty weeks. Be sure to inform the medical practitioner conducting the ultrasound whether or not you want to check the gender of the unborn child. However, you should note that you can misinterpret ultrasound images, so they may not be accurate when used to determine the gender of your baby.
In the early stages of pregnancy, you may need an ultrasound to check the presence of more than one fetus or determine your gestational age or due date. In the later stages of your pregnancy, an ultrasound can help check the health of the unborn baby, location of the placenta, amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, the position of the baby, and the expected weight of the baby.
How Should You Prepare for an Ultrasound?
You do not need any special preparations for an ultrasound. However, some doctors may require you to take four to six glasses of water before the test to fill your bladder so they can have a better view of the baby during the ultrasound.
To summarize, ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to view the inside of the abdomen. No evidence exists to suggest that ultrasounds present any risks. You may need an ultrasound to determine the number of fetuses, expected due date, location of the placenta, position of the baby, and expected weight of the baby. You do not have to prepare in any specific way for an ultrasound.