Fetal Ultrasound ǀ Overview
Fetal ultrasound is a test during pregnancy to learn the health of your fetus. This technique creates an image of the developing baby in the uterus.
If you want to learn different details at a different time of your pregnancy, Fetal ultrasound is a great thing, to begin with. It is the safest way to check the health of an unborn baby. With fetal ultrasound, the heart, head, and spine of developing babies are evaluated.
A fetal ultrasound test is done in two ways
– Abdominal (Transabdominal): this is done by moving a transducer over your abdomen. This is the most commonly used ultrasound during early pregnancy.
– The Vagina (transvaginal): This is a form of fetal ultrasound in which a wandlike device called a transducer is placed in your vagina to send out sound waves and gather the reflections. In a situation where transabdominal ultrasound does not provide enough information, this type of ultrasound can be done.
Other types of transabdominal fetal ultrasound include;
– Specialized sonographic evaluation. In a situation where a fetal abnormality is known or suspected, specialized sonographic evaluation is required. The detailed evaluation provides additional information about the abnormality.
– 3D ultrasound. This test gives a two-dimensional display of three-dimensional data. This test is most often by health care providers to detect facial abnormalities or neural tube defects.
– Doppler ultrasound. The ultrasound that measures slight changes in the ultrasound waves particularly as they bounce of moving objects such as blood cells is known as Doppler ultrasound. This test gives detail information about a baby’s blood flow.
– Fetal echocardiography. This test gives a detailed picture of a baby’s heart. It is most often used to detect or rule out a congenital heart defect.
Why Fetal ultrasound?
The First-trimester ultrasound: during the first-trimester ultrasound examination the existence of pregnancy is evaluated, the number of fetuses available and the gestation period are also determined. Ultrasound is a great tool for first-trimester genetic screening as well as a screening of uterus abnormalities.
Second or third trimester: This is where a standard ultrasound is carried out to understand the several features of pregnancy, such as fetal anatomy. The second or third trimester is usually between weeks 18 and 20 of pregnancy. However, certain factors affect the timing of this ultrasound such as obesity, which limits the visualization of the fetus.
Health providers used ultrasound to:
– Check the pregnancy and its location
– To know your baby’s gestational age
– To check the number of babies.
– Estimate your baby’s growth.
– To understand the placenta and amniotic fluid levels.
– Examine birth defects.
– Examine complications.
– Do other prenatal tests.
– Know the fetal position before delivery.
To sum it up…
A new parent must-know that fetal ultrasound is not recommended only to determine the baby’s sex, and it should be done only for valid medical reasons. Also, it is not recommended solely to produce keepsake videos or pictures.
If you still want to try ultrasound for the reassurance it provides, you can discuss the issue with your care provider as it is the best way to work together and determine what’s best for you and your baby.