Ultrasounds are routinely offered during pregnancy and use soundwaves that are targeted toward your uterus to generate images of your unborn child, womb and placenta. No radiation is used in ultrasounds and they are considered safe for both the pregnant woman and the developing baby at all stages of pregnancy. Some women are offered more ultrasounds than others depending on whether they have any underlying health conditions that could impact their pregnancy or whether any potential problems have been identified with the health of the baby.
Two Main Types Of Pregnancy Ultrasound
An abdominal pregnancy ultrasound is the type that's offered most commonly. It involves having a handheld transducer swept over the skin of your abdomen. It's non-invasive and simply involves applying light pressure to your abdomen to get a good look at your developing baby.
A transvaginal pregnancy ultrasound involves having a thin probe inserted into your vagina. Soundwaves are emitted from the probe and the technology used is the same as that used for an abdominal ultrasound. Transvaginal ultrasounds can generate clearer images, so they are often used in the very early stages of pregnancy, particularly if there are any concerns about the viability of the pregnancy.
The Scope Of Pregnancy Ultrasounds
Routine ultrasounds offered at the end of the first trimester are used to check that your baby's moving around and growing as they should be and that their heart is beating healthily. This ultrasound can also establish whether you are pregnant with more than one baby and check the condition of your reproductive organs. Your approximate due date will also be confirmed at this stage. Pregnancy ultrasounds offered earlier in the pregnancy are generally used to detect suspected pregnancy complications, such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. If you have bleeding early in your pregnancy, you will be offered an ultrasound to check the viability of your pregnancy. You may be able to see a heartbeat on the screen as early as six weeks post-conception, which can be very reassuring. In the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy, an ultrasound can tell you the gender of your baby and allow your doctor to monitor your baby's growth. They can also be used to check you have an appropriate amount of amniotic fluid, and they can detect some abnormalities, such as spina bifida, kidney defects and club feet.
Pregnancy ultrasounds can provide valuable, and sometimes life-saving, information, but they also give you the wonderful experience of seeing your baby moving around and growing. If you have any questions about pregnancy ultrasounds, speak to your healthcare provider.
Hello, my name is Peter and I live in Western Australia with my wife on our pet dogs. This is my blog which details how to deal with various medical emergencies and other conditions. Last year, several friends and members of my family suffered from various different kinds of medical problems. Some of them, such as my uncle had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate treatment that saved his life. Lots of my friends had minor problems which had a big impact on the quality of their lives. I take an active interest in first-aid and other medical matters so I decided to start this blog.