High frequency sound waves are passed through the uterus, which is reflected back providing us with 2 dimensional images of the growing baby inside the uterus.
Hard tissues like bones are depicted in white while soft tissues appear gray and speckled.Nowadays 3D and 4D scans are available, which provides us with more lifelike images of the baby. Here a colored image is obtained in the place of black and white images.
Ultrasound scans can be done by two methods. The first method is usually practiced in the very early stages of pregnancy. Here the scan is done by inserting a small probe into the vagina of the mother. By this method even very tiny embryos can be made visible.
In the second method, scanning is done by spreading a gel on the surface of the abdominal and pelvic region. The gel is used to avoid the loss of signal. A scanner or transducer is then moved over the gel, and we are provided with images of the uterus.
An ultrasound scan helps to monitor the positions and development of the fetus. If you experience vaginal bleeding, then the doctor will recommend an ultrasound scan to know the cause. The heartbeat of the fetus can also be checked by this scan. Also the chances of multiple pregnancies can be confirmed by an ultrasound scan.
Conditions like ectopic pregnancy and physical abnormalities of the baby like spina bifida can be found out by performing an ultrasound scan. The incidence of Down’s syndrome can be confirmed by an ultrasound scan done between the 11th and 14th week of pregnancy.
A scan done around the 20th week of pregnancy will give us the information regarding the growth of the baby’s organs like heart, brain, kidneys, liver and spine. The amount of amniotic fluid can also be assessed by this scan. Also the placental position can be analyzed and conditions like placenta previa can be checked for.
Ultrasound scans are considered to be safe to perform during pregnancy .Here there are no radiations and hence no fear of risks associated with radiation exposure. The scan guarantees a 100 percent safety for the mother and baby.