When the pregnancy test turns out positive, it marks the beginning of an exciting nine months journey, which is characterized by turns and twists. But despite the challenges that you may encounter on the way, the joy of seeing the baby growing inside your tummy will wash all the bad memories away. Ultrasound can provide a sense of comfort and relief especially if you have been struggling with fertility and miscarriages.
Ultrasound provides a practical way for a woman and their partner to observe the changes that are happening inside the womb during pregnancy. Obstetric ultrasounds are essential diagnostic and monitoring tools that will help your healthcare provider to check for abnormalities that may occur from early pregnancy right up until you give birth.
Different Types of Obstetric Ultrasounds
Apart from the standard obstetric ultrasound, several other advanced ultrasounds include trans-vaginal and Doppler ultrasounds. These ultrasounds are mainly used in early pregnancy. 3-D and 4-D ultrasound utilize specially designed scanners to have a look at the face and the movements of the fetus. Echocardiography is another type of advanced ultrasound that helps your physician to look into detail at the fetus’ heart to check for abnormalities. You can check out more on ultrasound Mesa AZ, to learn more about obstetric ultrasounds.
Why Would You Need a Pregnancy Ultrasound?
Your doctor may order an ultrasound for various reasons during the pregnancy. During the first trimester, which runs from weeks one to twelve, the doctor may require an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy, check the fetal heartbeat, check for multiple pregnancies, determine the gestational age of the fetus, examine your reproductive organs, and look for any other abnormalities with the pregnancy.
During your second and third trimesters, an ultrasound may be used to monitor the fetus growth and position, look at the placenta to rule out problems such as placenta previa and placental abruption, check for congenital abnormalities, monitor the levels of the amniotic fluid, check for characteristics of Down syndrome and also guide other tests such as amniocentesis.
Besides using ultrasound for medical reasons, it can also be used for non-medical purposes such as determining the baby’s sex. While the use of ultrasound technology is considered safe for both the mother and the unborn baby, most of the experts discourage using ultrasound when there is no medical benefit or reason.
Are Obstetric Ultrasounds Safe?
Generally, obstetric ultrasounds are safe because they do not use radiation. Instead, ultrasound relies on sound waves and echoes to create images known as sonograms. The sound waves are sent from a special machine to the womb where they bounce off the fetus’ body. The long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposure during pregnancy are still unknown.
How Many Ultrasounds Can You Have During the Pregnancy?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, there is no specific number of ultrasounds needed during the course of pregnancy. Your doctor may request use ultrasound for different purposes, based on your health and the health of the fetus.