Health A to Z Last updated on 2023-04-10 11:38:58
Ultrasound scan during pregnancy
- Dr Spurti Kattimani
- 4 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Pregnancy is a magical experience, and it can be overwhelming for a mother-to-be. One of the most exciting and essential aspects of prenatal care is getting an ultrasound scan done. An ultrasound scan/Sonography is a non-invasive medical imaging test that uses sound waves to create images of a growing baby inside the mother’s womb. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about an ultrasound scan during pregnancy.
Why is an ultrasound Test Important?An ultrasound test is important because it provides essential information about the developing fetus, such as
- The overall well-being of the baby and its surrounding environment
- Birth defects or genetic abnormalities, if any,
- Information about the baby’s position, size, and heart rate
- To calculate the expected delivery date
- To check if the baby has a head-first position before birth, etc
Types of Ultrasound TestsThere are two main types of ultrasound tests:
(1) Transabdominal ultrasoundWhen you think about ultrasound, it’s most likely this kind. Here, a device called an ultrasound transducer (probe) is pressed firmly against the abdomen. The transducer sends out high-energy sound waves that bounce off tissues and create echoes. The echoes are sent to a computer, which uses them to create a sonogram picture. This is the most common type of ultrasound.
(2) Transvaginal ultrasoundHere, a thin transducer is placed inside the vagina (birth canal). You may feel some discomfort, but it shouldn’t cause any pain. Traditional ultrasounds are all 2D. More advanced ultrasounds use 3D and 4D technologies to create better images of your baby. This is especially helpful when the doctor may want to see the face and organs of the baby in greater detail. Apart from this, your doctor may also prescribe other types of ultrasounds, such as a
Doppler ultrasoundThis type of ultrasound is done to check for the fetus’s heartbeat and measure blood flow in the umbilical cord. You may be prescribed a Doppler ultrasound if you have Rh disease.
Fetal echocardiogramThis type of ultrasound technology is used to look into the baby’s heart, shape, size, and function.
How is an Ultrasound Test Done?This depends on the type of ultrasound test being performed.
For transabdominal ultrasound
- A gel is applied to the mother’s belly. The gel helps better transmit the sound waves.
- Next, a handheld device called a transducer is used to run over the mother’s belly to create images of the developing fetus.
- The transducer creates an image on the ultrasound machine by emitting high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the baby’s body.
For transvaginal ultrasound
- You lie on a table with your feet up in the stirrup.
- Your healthcare provider then moves a thin transducer into your vagina to detect the baby’s fetal heartbeat and gestational age.
When is an ultrasound Test Done?
First Trimester Ultrasound TestFirst ultrasound test is typically done during the first trimester, around weeks 10-12. It is done to
- Confirm pregnancy
- The number of pregnancies (single/twins/ triplets etc.)
- Ectopic pregnancy
- To calculate the expected date of Delivery
- Viability of the fetus(baby's heartbeat)
- Determine the gestational age (i.e., the age of the baby),
- Check for any abnormalities or defects in the fetus.
Second Trimester Ultrasound TestA second-trimester ultrasound test is usually done between 18-22 weeks of pregnancy. This test is used to check the
- Baby’s growth and organ development,
- Location of placenta
- Birth canal defects
- Other abnormalities
Third Trimester Ultrasound TestA third-trimester ultrasound test is usually done between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy. The third-trimester ultrasound scan helps in detecting
- Position of the baby with respect to the pelvis and birth canal,
- Placement of the placenta
- Amniotic fluid status,
- Baby's heart rate,
- Growth of the baby. It can also help detect any potential problems, such as fetal distress or low birth weight.
What Can an Ultrasound Test Reveal?An ultrasound test can reveal many things about the developing fetus, including
- Gestational age, i.e., the age of the developing fetus
- Fetal anatomies, such as the growth and development of the heart, brain, spine, and other organs
- Multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets
- Fetal growth. This includes things like the weight of the baby, fetal growth restriction, etc.,
- Amniotic fluid levels, and
- Congenital disabilities, such as Down’s syndrome and spina bifida
Is an ultrasound Test Safe During Pregnancy?An ultrasound test is considered safe for both the mother and the developing fetus. However, what is important is to have the test performed by a qualified healthcare professional with experience with ultrasound technology. Book Now!
How to Book an Ultrasound Test with MFine?Follow these steps to book an ultrasound test with MFine
- Download the MFine app from the App Store or Google Play Store
- Register using your phone number and email ID
- On the home screen, tap on the ‘X-ray, MRIs & Scans’ tab
- Choose ‘specific test name advised by your Gynaecologist’ from the available tests (Ex: Ultrasound abdomen and pelvis, Transvaginal Ultrasound)
- Enter your location and select a diagnostic center that provides the ultrasound test
- Pick a suitable date and time for your appointment
- Fill in your details and complete the booking process
Why Book an Ultrasound Test with MFine?When you book a radiology test with us, you get up to a 50% discount on X-rays, MRIs, and scans, with same-day slots available. Further, our extensive network of 600+ labs enables you to access reports within 12 hours, and you can receive films within 15 to 20 minutes for a trouble-free experience. Book your appointment now!
ConclusionAn ultrasound test is a crucial prenatal test that employs sound waves to create images of a developing fetus and its surroundings. This test is primarily done to
- Confirm pregnancy,
- Track fetal growth
- Determine the age of the developing fetus, and
- To examine the fetus for any abnormalities or defects.
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