Pregnant women are advised to go for prenatal visits at least every month for the doctor to monitor fetal growth and development. One of the tests doctors leverage when assessing internal organs is ultrasound in Lake Nona.
What is an ultrasound scan, and how does it work?
The science behind the ultrasound machine is the use of high-frequency sound waves. A handheld scanner is the one that produces sound waves. Once the waves hit the target organ or fetus, it is reflected, and an image forms on a monitor. The image may be two-dimensional or three-dimensional, depending on the intensity of the waves.
Why should pregnant women have an ultrasound?
This scan is safe and non-invasive. For this reason, it is a convenient test that will not cause harm to your baby. Although the test helps doctors assess fetal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome, the scan is not 100% accurate. Most times, once your doctor suspects an anomaly, they may recommend an additional test because ultrasound does not show detailed, high-quality images.
Another reason why you should consider taking an ultrasound is for a gender reveal, which is possible from the second trimester. In the third trimester, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound to ensure that the baby is still growing and that the placenta is not blocking the cervix, especially with the due date approaches.
What are the different types of pregnancy ultrasounds?
There are two types of ultrasound and what you should expect from your appointment depends on the type you are having. For example:
- Transabdominal ultrasound: The procedure takes about half an hour. Since the sound waves penetrate water better, the sonographer will use your bladder to access the uterus. You will be given water or a liquid to drink so that your bladder can be full for the san to be effective. Sometimes, the sonographer may push harder on specific locations to get a clear image. You will lie with your back on a table, and then the sonographer will apply a gel onto your skin to create a more substantial contact with the scanner.
- Vaginal ultrasound: Sometimes transabdominal ultrasounds may not work, especially when air is in your bowel limits sound waves. In such cases, the sonographer will insert a scanner into your vagina. This ultrasound procedure lasts about 30 minutes.
After the procedure, the sonographer will give you tissues to wipe the gel off your skin. Since your bladder will be full, you can go to the toilet. There are no risks and complications associated with an ultrasound scan. Moreover, since the procedure is non-invasive and painless, you do not need to take particular aftercare precautions and are free to go back to regular activities.
Things you need to know about ultrasound results
Although your ultrasound results indicate normal, it does not necessarily mean the absence of fetal abnormalities. It would be best if you appreciated that the scan is not thorough. Your doctor may recommend an additional pregnancy test if there are signs of fetal abnormalities from the ultrasound.
Contact Contemporary Women’s Care if you have any questions about your pregnancy to find out if you need an ultrasound.