Pregnancy ultrasounds

Pregnancy ultrasounds go by various names. Alternate names are prenatal ultrasound, obstetric sonogram, fetal ultrasound and baby ultrasound.

Sound waves are used to check on how the fetus is developing in the womb. Also known as a sonogram, it is a fairly simple procedure. The patient lies down and the person doing the exam places a clear gel on the stomach and pelvic area. A transducer is a handheld unit that emits sound and then receives the echos in an alternating manner. The signals are sent back to a computer, and it makes ultrasound pictures from the strength of the pulse given out minus the amount of reflected, absorbed, or scattered energy. For more on this, check out How it Works A full bladder is needed to get good images, so a patient will be asked to drink 2 or 3 glasses of water before the exam and not to urinate. The gel feels cold at first and there may be some minor discomfort from the pressure of the transducer with a full bladder.

Why do an exam?

In the first trimester, a doctor would like to assess the fact that the woman really is pregnant and it is not a false one. please see Molar Pregnancy Ultrasound.

Also, one can determine a birth date, heart rate, or to see if there are multiple fetuses. They can rule out ectopic pregnancy ( An embryo is implanted in a fallopian tube ), miscarriage potential, or other problems in the placenta, uterus, and cervix.

In the second and third trimesters, they can monitor the baby's growth, health, and position ( normal or breech ). They can also determine if the baby has birth defects, Down syndrome, placenta previa ( an organ forming on the inner wall of the uterus shortly after conception ). They can tell if there is too much or too little amniotic fluid. Early detection of complications can allow the doctor and patient to create a course of action that can ensure the health and welfare on the baby and mother to be. Pregnancy Ultrasounds are just one type. Check out Types of ultrasound for more.

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