Advancement in technology has made life much easier in many ways. Whether it is about getting pregnant, capturing the live images of the baby in the womb or even delivering almost painless; technology has come a long way.
An ultrasound is a prenatal test offered to most pregnant women. It not only gives glimpse of your baby way before you can hold the baby in your arms but has proven to be of great help in early detection of fetal problems and abnormalities. Ultrasound reports can be used for preventing and treating many problems of the fetus and can also help in tracking the good health of the mother to be.
What exactly is an ultrasound and why it should not be avoided for any reason
Pregnancy ultrasound is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to image the developing baby as well as the mother’s reproductive organs. The average number of ultrasounds varies with each pregnancy.
An ultrasound, also called a sonogram, can help monitor normal fetal development and screen for any potential problems. Along with a standard ultrasound, there are a number of more advanced ultrasounds – including a 3-D ultrasound, a 4-D ultrasound, and a fetal echocardiography, which is an ultrasound that looks in detail at the fetus’ heart.
I) In the first trimester of pregnancy (weeks one to 12), ultrasounds may be done to:
- Confirm pregnancy
- Check the fetal heartbeat
- Determine the gestational age of the baby and estimate a due date
- Check for multiple pregnancies
- Examine the placenta, uterus, ovaries, and cervix
- Diagnose an ectopic pregnancy (when the fetus does not attach to the uterus) or miscarriage
- Look for any abnormal growth in the fetus
II) During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy
- Monitor the fetus’ growth and position (breech, transverse, cephalic, or optimal)
- Confirm multiple pregnancies
- Look at the placenta to check for problems, such as placenta previa (when the placenta covers the cervix) and placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterus prior to delivery)
- Check for characteristics of Down syndrome (normally done between 13 and 14 weeks)
- Check for congenital abnormalities or birth defects
- Examine the fetus for structural abnormalities or blood flow problems
- Monitor the levels of amniotic fluid
- Determine if the fetus is getting enough oxygen
Many people feel that an ultrasound is not good and it might have bad impact on the fetus but regular ultrasounds under supervision of a qualified radiologist/doctor whenever needed will help you in detecting various diseases at a very early stage and will also confirm proper growth of the fetus which is extremely important for having a healthy baby at the end. And that’s what we all want Right?
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