Pregnancy Ultrasound To Monitor The Development Of Fetus
Pregnancy ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to see the fetus and female pelvic organs during pregnancy. The technique is used to see how the fetus develops in the womb.
This test is performed during different stages of pregnancy. Ultrasound scanning is performed in the first trimester to:
- Confirm a normal pregnancy
- Assess the baby's age
- Rule out problems, such as ectopic pregnancies or potential for miscarriage
- Assess the baby's heart rate
- See if there are multiple pregnancies
- Identify problems of the placenta, uterus, and pelvis
Ultrasound Scanning Is Also Performed In The Second And Third Trimesters To:
During the test, a clear, water-based gel is applied on the belly and pelvis area and a hand-held probe is moved over the area. The gel helps the probe transmit sound waves that gets bounced off the body structures, including the developing fetus, to create images on the ultrasound machine. However, in some cases the probe is inserted into the vagina to capture images. This is called transvaginal ultrasound.
- Assess the baby's age, growth, position, and sometimes gender
- Identify any developmental problems
- Rule out multiple pregnancies
- Evaluate the placenta, amniotic fluid, and pelvis
- The location of the placenta is checked to make sure it isn’t blocking the cervix.
Some doctors suggest ultrasound in case there is any problem with the pregnancy. At around 13 - 14 weeks of pregnancy, the scan is performed to look for risks of Down syndrome or other abnormalities in the fetus.