Overview of Pregnancy Ultrasounds

Pregnancy ultrasounds first came into use during the 1950s. Since then, ultrasound is regarded as one of the most important diagnostics tools for checking the health of the growing fetus. A pregnancy ultrasound is basically the ultrasound used for scanning during pregnancy. These ultrasounds are used for diagnosing the fetus growing in the womb of the pregnant mother.  A ultrasound scan can help the doctor to identify existing defects in the developing baby prior to birth.

Is it safe to undergo ultrasound during pregnancy? Majority of the medical experts and a number of pregnancy magazines state that it is absolutely safe to get ultrasounds done during pregnancy. Ultrasounds are unlikely to harm the unborn baby and the expecting mother.

Pregnancy ultrasoundsLet us now get acquainted with the working procedure of the pregnancy ultrasounds. Ultrasounds work by using real-time scanning machines or scanners. The scanner keeps on building a graph of the growing fetus in the mother’s womb. This graph can be viewed on the screen of an attached monitor. To make sure that the images of the baby appearing on the monitor are clear, sound waves of extremely high frequency get used; the sound waves used during pregnancy ultrasound range between 3.5 and 7 megahertz. The sound waves are released by a transducer placed on the pregnant woman’s abdomen. The specialist will move the transducer around the abdomen of the woman for observing the condition of the uterus and detecting whether there’s any abnormality. The growing fetus gets scanned through recurring beams of ultrasound, which eventually get reflected back into the transducer. The images appearing on the monitor will relay all the information the sound waves collected.

Pregnancy ultrasound is also used for gender detection of the growing baby in the mother’s uterus. But, to use ultrasound for detection the baby’s family will need to wait till the mother reaches 16 weeks of her pregnancy. Whether or not a pregnancy ultrasound can detect the gender of the baby depends on the sonographic device’s aptitude and the operator’s skill levels.

Pregnancy ultrasoundsImages created by pregnancy ultrasounds on the screen of the monitor help the doctor to detect several other conditions. For instance, the doctor can find out problems related to the heartbeat of the fetus and abnormalities with fetal movements. The images also reveal if there’s any malformation in the developing fetus. If there’s a structural abnormality in the fetus, a pregnancy ultrasound is the only way of knowing that before the baby is born. It is advisable that pregnant women should get an ultrasound done before reaching 20 weeks of pregnancy for identifying the possibility of structural abnormalities in her baby. This will allow the doctor to terminate the pregnancy.

Often doctors recommend pregnant women to undergo full bladder ultrasounds. This test is more frequently used for detecting whether a woman is pregnant or not based on the early signs of pregnancy experienced by her. Full bladder ultrasounds are also completely safe for expecting mothers. The woman will not experience even slightest pain during the test. However, pressure on the bladder might result in some discomforting sensation. Besides that the conducting gel used during the procedure might make the woman feel slightly cold and damp. That’s it; you will not have to experience any other uncomfortable feeling during full bladder ultrasounds.

The pregnancy ultrasound is not only meant for monitoring the health of the unborn baby and the mother. Through the images created during the test the parents and the other close family members of the baby gets to see him or her for the first time.

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