Prenatal ultrasound, also known as sonogram, is an imaging test that creates a visual of the unborn baby. The non-invasive treatment uses sound waves to evaluate foetal development, placenta, pelvic organs and uterus. It is usually done to help a health care provider and expectant mother to gather pregnancy information and ascertain the baby's well-being.
By way of the imaging test, high-frequency sound waves are passed through the uterus, which bounce off the baby. Reverted sound signals are then converted into a visual that reveals the baby's movements, breathing, shape, heart beat and position. The expectant mother may visit a health care provider between 6 to 10 weeks of the pregnancy term to schedule the pregnancy.
[Read: Effects of Frequent Ultrasound in Pregnancy]
All about Prenatal Ultrasound
- Prenatal ultrasound visualises the picture of the unborn baby along with its surroundings.
- Ultrasound scan is done to diagnose and confirm pregnancy. Through an ultrasound, a person can view the yolk sac, gestational sac and embryo of up to 5 weeks. Ultrasound can also detect the site of implantation of the embryo and diagnose ectopic pregnancy.
- If you go for ultrasound during the mid-pregnancy period (between 16 and 20 weeks), you will be able to figure out the baby’s sex.
- Another ultrasound is the genetic ultrasound, which includes nuchal translucency test, chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis.
- Frequent sonograms are recommended for woman with health complications such as diabetes, hypertension or other medical complications.
- Ultrasound helps find out the cause of vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy by visualising the shape and size of the gestational sac/placenta.
- The diagnostic technique accurately identifies ectopic and molar pregnancies if there is vaginal bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy.
[Read: Ultrasound Scans during pregnancy]
- The diagnosis reveals multiple pregnancies by showing growth, retardation, anomaly and the presence of placenta previa.
- Prenatal ultrasound gives a fair idea of pelvic and uterine abnormalities such as fibromyomata and ovarian cysts during pregnancy.
- Ultrasound scan also reveals if the placenta is covering the cervix, which causes bleeding later in the pregnancy. If health care providers identify this condition, another follow-up scan will be advised for third trimester.
- The scan describes baby's basic anatomy and their growth. Prenatal ultrasound puts light on the development of head, neck, chest, heart, bladder, arms, legs, spine, stomach, kidneys and umbilical cord.
- Health care provider suggests frequent ultrasound scans if he suspects too much or too little amniotic fluid in pregnant woman’s body.
Read more articles on Ultrasound.