Ultrasound is a medical test performed by an experienced sonographer to look inside the human body. During pregnancy gynecologists ask for regular ultrasounds to monitor the growth of a baby inside the uterus. Ultrasound is also used to identify any chromosomal abnormality in a growing baby.
Ultrasound utilizes high frequency sound waves to visualize the internal organs of human body. It is a very useful technique during pregnancy to rule out any congenital abnormality in the growing fetus inside the uterus. Not just the health of the baby, but also the health of to-be-mother can be determined with the help of ultrasounds.
Ultrasound helps in measuring the growth of baby in terms of her weight and height. It can also identify fetal chromosomal abnormality in the baby. Gynecologists recommend regular ultrasounds to check the levels of amniotic fluid, to rule out multiple pregnancies or ectopic pregnancy, to estimate delivery date and to measure cervical length as well.If someone has shorter cervical length a way before due date then there are higher chances of premature delivery. In such cases, emergency cervical cerclage may be required.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to visualize internal organs so it is also called sonogram. Ultrasound is also performed on a pregnant lady to know if she and her child are under good health conditions. Some advanced techniques of Ultrasounds are also used to assess the fetal and pregnancy-related complexities like the fetal anomaly (malformation), diseases and disorders in woman’s womb.
Kinds of Ultrasounds done during pregnancy
1- Transabdominal Ultrasound
Transabdominal ultrasound involves applying gel on lower abdomen to take pictures of uterus and the growing baby inside it. This ultrasound is the most common form of ultrasound recommended to assess the health of the mother and the baby. This type of ultrasound is usually practiced in second and third trimester. A gel like substance, which is applied on the abdomen,ensures better contact between ultrasound probe and the skin.
Generally, you are recommended to drink water in an empty stomach before this type of ultrasound. Your bladder should be partially filled before ultrasound. Partially filled bladder ensures your bowel is out of pelvis region, giving clear view of uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.It takes nearly 10-15 minutes to do a transabdominal ultrasound. But sometimes, if the baby is not in a favorable thesonographer may ask you to wait for some time before taking the ultrasound again. Unfavorable position makes the examination of fetus difficult and certain parameters cannot be measured properly.
2- Transvaginal Ultrasound
In this type of ultrasound, an ultrasound probe, which is approximately 2 cm in diameter, is inserted into the vagina. The ultrasound probe is covered with protective sheath such as condom and the gel is applied on the probe before inserting the probe into the vagina. Transvaginal ultrasounds are more precise as these can take closer pictures of pelvic regions. It is usually practiced in first trimester or early second trimester. This process is not painful and your privacy is also maintained by covering your lower part with a towel.
How many ultrasounds are generally recommended during pregnancy?
Generally there is not an exact figure for the number of ultrasounds one should have during entire pregnancy. But the sure thing is that it varies from pregnant woman to woman. Some women who come under the category of high-risk pregnancy should have more ultrasounds in order to have constant monitoring. But one should have at least these below mentioned ultrasounds at right time to ensure their pregnancy is going in the right direction.
1- Around 6-7 weeks
This is the first ultrasound that you have once you know you are pregnant. Most of the times, this is trans-vaginal ultrasound. By this time, the sonographer looks for the fetus with heartbeat. If the heartbeat is not present at 6 weeks, the sonographer asks for a follow up ultrasound after 2 weeks.
If everything comes out to be normal with fetal heart beat present at 6 weeks, then you require next ultrasound around 12th week or 13th week of pregnancy.
2- After 12th week of pregnancy
You have your second ultrasound around 12th or 13 week of pregnancy for NT scan check. This is done to rule out any congenital abnormality at an early stage. Remember that the gender of the baby cannot be ruled out at this stage. Moreover, a revelation of gender by the sonographer is completely banned in India. This ultrasound is also done to check growth and development of your baby like the heartbeat, muscle growth, and movement. It also helps to analyze the due date of delivery.
3- After 18-20 Weeks of pregnancy
This is the third ultrasound in your normal routine prenatal care. It is done to rule out any abnormality such as down syndrome, chromosomal defect, cleft lips, nasal defect or any other form of abnormality. Though the sex of a baby can be determined as early as 12 weeks after conception the most clearidentification of the sex of the baby can be seen after 18-20 weeks of pregnancy. Sex determination in India is banned byPre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 to curb the gender discrimination.
4- After 24-25 weeks of pregnancy
This is your fourth ultrasound in routine check up. This is echo ultrasound done using 3D imaging to take clear pictures of baby’s heart. The four chambers of the baby’s heart develop by this stage. Ultrasound at this stage helps in checking the proper functioning of the heart. Sometimes, calcifications in baby’s heart valve appear as white mass in ultrasound, which needs further investigations. But, it’s nothing to worry about. Most of the times, it is dissolved once the baby is born. This is also known as fetal echocardiography.
5- After 30 weeks of pregnancy
This ultrasound is known as Doppler ultrasound scan to check the blood flow in baby’s brain and heart. It also measures the height and weight of the body to monitor growth. It also checks the blood flow into the placenta to ensure baby is getting sufficient oxygen and nutrients. The hair on the scalp of baby grows during this period of pregnancy. Baby starts responding to noise. An ultrasound in this stage indicates the consistent development of the baby.
There are various other times when your doctor may recommend a routine ultrasound to assess the health of the baby or your health. Some routine ultrasounds can be taken to determine the due date. Doctor’s also check position of the baby at this stage. If she is in breech position, chances are that you might have c-section delivery. But most of the times, baby can turn up before 34 weeks.
6- After 37-38 weeks of pregnancy:
This ultrasound is done to check dilation of the cervix as well as cervical length. By this time, it is also ruled out which type of delivery you will be having. Once you approach 38 weeks mark, doctor can ask you to visit regularly after every 1 week to check the delivery progress.
Pregnancy Ultrasound is not painful
Ultrasound is not a painful process. But, the gel used before taking ultrasounds might create uneasiness for some women.Some women can feel trans-vaginal ultrasounds to be painful and uncomfortable. But always remember that it does not cause harm. You may feel discomfort for 5-10 minutes but everything comes back to normal after that.
It is recommended for the sonographersto take multiple clear images at different angles with the help of ultrasound. Clear view images at various angles ensure proper diagnosis.
A routine ultrasound is recommended by the doctors to assess the development of your baby and your health. Many times, you feel normal but you or your baby may need special care. The required tests and progress of the growth of the babycan only be determined by the diagnostic ultrasounds.
An advanced type of ultrasounds to determine pregnancy-related complexities
1- Color Doppler
This kind of ultrasound is done to check the blood flow in your baby and your own body. A woman having Rh disease (incompatibility in between the blood of the mother and fetus), must go under this type of ultrasound as she is more likely to get miscarriage due to lack of antibodies.
2- 3-D Ultrasound
3-D Ultrasound gives a better photograph of your abdomen. This is done to assess if organs of your baby are developing well and you don't have any uterine problems.
3- 4-D Ultrasound
4-D ultrasound is the more sophisticated version of an ultrasound. It is the video form of ultrasound to check your baby’s movement in your womb.
What you can expect from an ultrasound?
Most mothers get ultrasound reports having positive results. Even if you are diagnosed with some pregnancy-related complications, it can be treated if diagnosed in early stages. This is why; ultrasound is done to check the well beingthe of mother and child.
Too frequent ultrasounds are harmful
We generally feel anxious about what is going to happen. You become increasingly eager to know about your baby's health and your own health during pregnancy. But ideally, you should limit your ultrasounds during the whole gestation period. You should not undergo any additional ultrasound other than suggested by your doctor.
Unless recommended to determine some serious complications, you shouldn’t go for too many ultrasounds just to cure your anxiety.
Where should you go for an ultrasound?
Also, you should consult a registered reliable lab for your regular check-ups recommended by doctors. An untrained medical practitioner may tell you awkward results as many images of ultrasound tell anomalies if not assessed well.
Many times labs with unskilled practitioners offer low costs and quick ultrasounds. That seems appealing but should not be grabbed. Your health and your baby's health are more important than the cost of the ultrasound. So, you must consider the authenticity of the lab before going for an ultrasound.
Hope this article gives you a lot of valuable information on pregnancy ultrasounds. To know more about the types of the food to have during pregnancy, you can read our article on best foods to eat during pregnancy.
Also, if you are looking for a hospital for your baby’s delivery or prenatal care, you can call at +917899912611 for prior booking.
Have a happy parenthood!
SOURCES AND REFERENCES:
It will go live post Approval.
The information displayed on this webpage covers general information on several medical conditions, fertility treatments, IVF ICSI, surrogacy procedure, home remedies, and their respective treatments. The exclusive purpose of the displayed information is for the sake of general understanding and it has been collected from open sources which heavily rely on research and laboratory tests. However, the information shared here should not be considered as a medical advice or an alternative to consultation with a registered medical practitioner or licensed healthcare professional.
It is not advised to self-diagnose or treat any medical condition or disease following the information given in this article. We insist you to consult a registered practitioner and never try to replace their advice or discontinue treatment in between by relying solely on the information obtained. External links to different websites as well as videos given on the website serve the purpose of sharing knowledge only. Ela being an Independent Medical Information platform is neither responsible nor guarantees the authenticity, reliability, and accuracy of these videos and websites in any way. We do not intend the information displayed here to be used for a medical emergency, if you seek medical attention for yourself (or any other person with whom you want to share the information with), we advise you to directly get in touch with the hospital or the doctor.
Maintaining an exercise routine after you have given birth would not only get you back in shape but it also makes it easy for you to steer clear of postpartum depression. You can start with exercises such as Running or Walking, Deep Breathing with Crunches, Forearm Plank, Walking Leap, Pushups, Wide Lifts and Floor Bridge to shed extra weight around your belly, thighs, butts and other body parts.
Breast implants are used to change the shape and size of the breasts. Women with breast implants often perceive it as a hindrance on their way to motherhood and breastfeeding. But women who have got breast implants should know that theycould get pregnantand even breastfeed by keeping their assetsin shape.
Antenatal care or prenatal care is the preventive care, which a woman receives during her pregnancy to ensure the good health of the baby. Antenatal care prepares the woman for the childbirth, helps to diagnose any complications during pregnancy and promotes physical and mental wellness of the expecting mother.
Pregnancy blood test measures hCG hormone in the blood to confirm pregnancy. It can be taken 7-12 after ovulation. hCG levels lesser than 5 mIU/ml signifies negative test while greater than 25 mIU/ml indicates a positive pregnancy test. It is highly reliable and accurate as compared to home pregnancy tests/ urine tests.
Natural childbirth is a process of delivering a child through vagina without surgery after nine months of pregnancy. Some of the commonly utilized natural birth techniques include Water Delivery, Alexander Technique, Lamaze, Hypnosis and the Bradley method. But it needs timely preparation and patience to learn and apply these techniques successfully.
Every new mother needs to consume the required nutrients in their daily diet after delivery to ensure speedy recovery. Post pregnancy diet for a newly mother should include healthy foods like low fat milk, leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, nuts, fenugreek seeds and whole green cereals. Eating healthy foods also ensures balanced diet for the newborn baby in form of breast milk.
Pregnancy Conception Calculator uses the last menstrual period's first date and due date for pregnancy (supposed birth date) for determining the Conception Date for the Baby. Its usually a range of days in which the conception might have occurred.
Progesterone is the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries after ovulation. Non-pregnant women with low progesterone have symptoms of headaches, migraines, low sex drive, irregular menstrual cycles and weight gain.Pregnant women notice symptoms of unrelenting fatigue, breast tenderness and vaginal dryness. Causes of low progesterone include excessive exercise, stress and xenoestrogens. Treatments include balanced diet, artificial Progesterone supplements and adequate sleep.
It is very common to misunderstand implantation bleeding fora normal period. Most often implantation bleeding is accompanied with symptoms of a regular period such as cramps and bloating, however the common difference is that a regular menstruation will last for 3-5 days whereas implantation bleeding lasts for a maximum of a day or two.
Fetal heart rate (FHR) refers to heart rate of a baby in the womb. It is also referred as fetus in medical terminology. A normal fetal heart rate usually ranges from 120 to 160 beats per minute (bpm) in the utero period. During ultrasound its measured starting from around 6 weeks and during gestation the normal range varies from 170 bpm at 10 weeks and to around 130 bpm by next quarter.
Alternative methods such as Forward Leaning Inversion, Knee to chest exercise, Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Chiropractics using Webster technique, hot and cold packs including Hypnosis methodscan help you turn a breech baby with ease. However, please be cautious while performing these methods because if not done properly they may result into complications.
The ovulation calculator might not be enough to track your cycle. B...
BBT chart is a type of ovulation calculator or fertility calculator...