Nowadays ultrasound scans are common during pregnancy. They help to ascertain the rate of growth of the fetus and are quite helpful in monitoring the procedure and development of the fetus in the womb.While performing the scan, high frequency sound waves are transmitted into the uterus. The reflected waves are then converted into an image for the purpose of understanding the current situation of the fetus. The images are available in different version including 2D, 3D and 4D formats as per the needs of the patient.
The scan should be carried on only by a gynecologist or a trained technician to avoid any complications. While performing the tests, a gel is first applied on the abdomen and pelvis. Then a hand-held probe, also known as a transducer, is moved over the area where the gel has been applied.
It presents the image of the growing fetus inside the uterus on the screen to which the transducer is attached. The gel ensures that no signal is lost while carrying out the procedure. During the early stages of pregnancy, the expecting mother needs to drink lots of water to make her bladder full .
When the bladder is full the uterus is pushed from the pelvic region and it is easier to capture the fetus growing in the womb.Another method of ultrasound is to insert the transducer lubricated with gel into the vagina of the expecting mother. Though this method is more accurate, it is generally used during the initial stages of pregnancy to find out signs of tiny embryos in the uterus.
Ultrasound scans enables the gynecologist to ascertain the fetal development and its exact position in the uterus. Ultrasound can also be used to hear the fetal heartbeats and know if there are multiple pregnancies.
Early ultrasound scans helps in detecting conditions of ‘placenta previa’ and ‘ectopic pregnancy’ and even abnormalities of ‘spina bifida’.Usually 2-3 ultrasounds can be performed in case of a normal or a low risk pregnancy. If the mother is carrying multiple fetuses or is undergoing a high risk pregnancy, the number of ultrasound is usually increased.