When Do You Get Ultrasounds During Pregnancy

Which ultrasound is most important during pregnancy?

All ultrasounds during pregnancy are important. Using ultrasound, your prenatal care provider can provide you with crucial information about your pregnancy.

What are the two main types of pregnancy ultrasounds?

Transvaginal ultrasound and abdominal ultrasound are the two primary types of pregnancy ultrasounds. Both create s of your child using the same technology. Transvaginal ultrasounds are carried out by your obstetrician by inserting a wand-like device into your vagina. They use a device on your stomach skin to conduct an abdominal ultrasound.

Your pregnancy care professional inserts a device into your vaginal canal during a transvaginal ultrasound (much like you would a tampon). This ultrasound helps in the early stages of pregnancy to find a fetal heartbeat or calculate your gestational age. s from a transvaginal ultrasound are more distinct than abdominal ultrasounds in the early stages of pregnancy.

An abdominal ultrasound is carried out by your obstetrician by pressing a transducer against your skin. The transducer is then moved around your abdomen to record images of your unborn child. The best views sometimes require a little bit of pressure. Providers use abdominal ultrasounds after about 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Traditional ultrasounds are 2D. Better sound quality can be produced using more recent technologies like 3D or 4D ultrasound. This is useful when your healthcare provider needs to see more of your baby’s face or internal organs. Not all healthcare professionals have the necessary equipment or training to perform 3D or 4D ultrasounds.

Your provider may recommend other types of ultrasounds. Examples of additional ultrasounds are:

  • Doppler ultrasound: This type of ultrasound checks how your baby’s blood flows through its blood vessels. Most Doppler ultrasounds occur later in pregnancy.
  • Fetal echocardiogram: This type of ultrasound looks at your baby’s heart size, shape, function and structure. Your provider may use it if they suspect your baby has a congenital heart condition, if you had another child that had a heart condition or if you have certain health conditions that warrant taking a closer look at the heart.
  • What can be detected in a pregnancy ultrasound?

    A prenatal ultrasound does two things:

  • Evaluates the overall health, growth and development of the fetus.
  • Detects certain complications and medical conditions related to pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy care professionals typically have positive experiences with ultrasounds and don’t discover any issues. But occasionally this isn’t the case, and your doctor finds birth defects or other issues with the pregnancy.

    Reasons why your provider performs a prenatal ultrasound are to:

  • Confirm you’re pregnant.
  • Check for ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, miscarriage or other early pregnancy complications.
  • Determine your baby’s gestational age and due date.
  • Check your baby’s growth, movement and heart rate.
  • Look for multiple babies (twins, triplets or more).
  • Examine your pelvic organs like your uterus, ovaries and cervix.
  • Examine how much amniotic fluid you have.
  • Check the location of the placenta.
  • Check your baby’s position in your uterus.
  • Detect problems with your baby’s organs, muscles or bones.
  • Another crucial tool that aids healthcare professionals in screening for congenital conditions (disorders your baby is born with) is ultrasound. A screening test determines whether your unborn child is more likely to have a particular medical condition. When performing certain diagnostic procedures during pregnancy, such as amniocentesis or CVS (chorionic villus sampling), your doctor may also use ultrasound to guide the needle.

    In order to determine whether your baby is receiving enough oxygen, a biophysical profile (BPP), which combines ultrasound and a nonstress test, also includes an ultrasound.

    3 Questions Pregnant Women Should Ask about Fetal Ultrasounds – Mark Sklansky, MD | UCLA Health

    Leave a Comment