Determine how your Unborn Baby is doing with Doppler Tests

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 25, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • There are different phases that the doppler test goes through.
  • Doppler tests help to indentify any sort of pregnancy problems.
  • There are different phases of a Doppler test.
  • The test is reliable than traditional ultrasound procedure.

Doppler test, also known as Doppler Sonography, is a medical examination to assess the baby's health and is similar to ultrasound.


woman getting doppler test done

Doppler scan during pregnancy reflects the blood flow through a blood vessel via sound waves. The medical evaluation reveals the blood flow in major arteries and veins, especially legs, arms and neck.

Pregnancy Doppler test can reflect the blocked or depleted blood flow owing to narrowing of arteries of the neck, which may cause a stroke. In other words, Doppler scan is done in case there is a suspicion of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) i.e. blood clot of veins in the legs. Moreover, clot of the lungs, ascribed as pulmonary embolism, can also be determined.

Phases of Doppler Test in Pregnancy

  • A transducer is passed lightly over the skin above a blood vessel.
  • Handheld transducer transmits and receives sound waves that are amplified through a microphone.
  • These waves rebound off the solid objects, including blood cells.
  • Change is observed in sound waves when it strikes with blood cells, which is known as the Doppler effect.
  • The unaffected pitch indicates that there is no blood flow.
  • The outcome is extracted in the form of graphs or pictures representing the flow of blood through vessels.


Types of Doppler Tests

  • Various kinds of Doppler tests and devices can be used during pregnancy to measure blood flow in the baby's body, placenta and umbilical cord.
  • Doppler sonography uses the same device as an ultrasound.
  • In one type of Doppler scan, transvaginal Doppler probe is positioned in the vagina of a pregnant woman instead of being held against the abdomen.
  • In another type of Doppler scan, a Doppler heart monitor uses an advanced technology to listen to the baby's heartbeat without providing a visual picture to examine the blood flow.

Benefits of Pregnancy Doppler Test

  • Doppler scan helps in identifying pregnancy problems non-invasively.
  • It is reliable than traditional ultrasound procedure.
  • The heartbeat of an unborn baby can be heard as early as  you are 12 weeks pregnant, considerably lesser the time it takes in an ultrasound.
  • The medical analysis helps health care providers to observe and monitor foetal development much earlier than other technologies.
  • The test can be conducted if pregnant women suspect that their baby's heart has begun beating earliest by the 5th week of pregnancy.
  • Doppler scan assures healthy pregnancy in women with high-risk pregnancies due to low amniotic fluid levels, Rh-incompatibility or twins sharing the same placenta.

    Such a test is extremely necessary to detrmine that your baby is at the best of health and is not having any problems related to blood flow.


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