What is a fetal echo test in pregnancy?
4 Min Read
Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be filled with anxiety and uncertainty. One thing that expectant parents may worry about is their baby’s health. This is why prenatal care is so important. During pregnancy, doctors may recommend a variety of tests to monitor the health of the developing fetus. One such test is a fetal echo test.
What is a fetal echo test?
A fetal echo test is a type of ultrasound that looks specifically at the baby’s heart. It is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to create images of the baby’s heart while it is still in the womb.
Why is a fetal echo test recommended?
A fetal echo test is usually recommended if there is an increased risk of the baby having a heart defect. This may be because of a family history of heart defects or because of certain conditions in the mother, such as diabetes. It may also be recommended if there are any abnormalities detected during routine ultrasounds.
Is fetal echo necessary?
While not all pregnant women will need a fetal echo test, it can be an important tool for detecting heart defects early on. This can allow for early intervention and treatment, which can improve outcomes for the baby.
What can a fetal echo test detect?
A fetal echo test can detect a variety of heart defects, including:
- Atrial septal defects (ASD): A hole in the upper chamber of the heart.
- Ventricular septal defects (VSD): A hole in the lower chamber of the heart.
- Tetralogy of Fallot: A heart disease that involves four abnormalities in the heart’s structure.
- Transposition of the great arteries: A condition where the two main arteries of the heart are switched or “transposed.”
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome: A rare heart disease that affects the normal blood flow in the heart.
- Co arctation of the aorta: A heart disease that causes the aorta to narrow down.
When is fetal echocardiography done?
The timing of a fetal echo test can vary, but it is usually done between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, a second fetal echo test may be recommended around 26 weeks.
Why is a fetal echo test performed at 22 weeks and 26 weeks?
Here are some reasons why fetal echo test is sometimes performed at 22 weeks and 26 weeks:
Fetal heart development:
At 22 weeks of pregnancy, the fetal heart is still developing, and the Fetal echo test is used to evaluate the fetal heart’s structure and function.
At 26 weeks of pregnancy, the fetal heart has further developed, and the focus of the Fetal echo test is on assessing the fetal heart’s function and blood flow patterns.
The Fetal echo test at 22 weeks provides information on the fetal heart’s structure, rhythm, and blood flow patterns.
The Fetal echo test at 26 weeks provides additional information on the fetal heart’s function, such as the pumping ability, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels.
Indications for testing:
The Fetal echo test at 22 weeks is usually recommended for pregnant women who have risk factors for congenital heart defects or a family history of congenital heart disease.
The Fetal echo test at 26 weeks may be recommended for pregnant women with a known fetal heart abnormality or for those who had an abnormal finding on a previous Fetal echo test.
How is a fetal echo test done?
A fetal echo test is done in much the same way as a regular ultrasound. The mother lies on a table, and a gel is applied to her belly. The technician then uses a handheld device called a transducer to send sound waves into the uterus. The sound waves bounce off the baby’s heart and create images that can be seen on a screen.
How to prepare for the test?
There is usually no special preparation required for a fetal echo test. However, it is a good idea to wear loose clothing that will allow easy access to your belly.
What do they do during a fetal echo test in pregnancy?
During the test, the technician will look at the structure of the baby’s heart and check for any abnormalities. They will also check the blood flow through the heart and make sure that it is working properly.
How long does it take?
The test usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour.
What are the risk factors?
There are usually no risks associated with a fetal echo test. It is a non-invasive test that does not use radiation.
When will I get my reports?
We provide reports within 12 hours and films in 15 to 20 minutes.
Same-day slots available!
What do the test results mean?
The test results will indicate whether or not there are any abnormalities with the baby’s heart. If an abnormality is detected, further testing and treatment may be necessary. If no abnormalities are detected, it can provide reassurance to the parents.
Why book a fetal echo test with MFine?
When you book a fetal echo scan with us, you get good discounts — i.e., upto 50% off on online booking with the MFine app. Additionally,
- We have served more than 3 lakh+ patients upto date
- We have 400+ labs and hospitals in our network
- We offer 1100+ radiology modalities, and
- 120+ corporates trust us for the health checks of their employees
What’s more, we offer something more than just a fetal echo test. After your test, you also get a FREE doctor consultation to help you better understand your test results and future course of action.
A fetal echo test is an important tool for monitoring the health of a developing fetus. While not all pregnant women will need this test, it can be an important tool for detecting heart defects early on. If you have been recommended for a fetal echo test, don’t worry – it is a non-invasive test that usually takes less than an hour. The results can provide valuable information about your baby.
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