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Ultrasound scan during pregnancy
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An ultrasound scan during pregnancy is a happy moment for the yet-be parents as they can see their baby on the computer screen. At the outset we let you know that the sex of the baby will not be determined.

Check out the details of the technique here...


What are the different types of ultrasound scans and why are they used for?

There are several reasons behind conducting ultrasound scan during different stages of pregnancy. Accordingly, they are classified as: 
Dating scan: Done to monitor the heartbeat and age of the baby. It can also detect multiple pregnancies and signs of abnormalities.

Checking the ovaries of the mother is also a part of dating scan. 
Nuchal translucency scan: It’s done between the 11 to 13 weeks of pregnancy to measure the thickness of the skin at the back of the neck (nuchal fold) and the nasal bone. It can also evaluate risk of chromosomal defects.
 
Mid-trimester scan: It done during 18-20 weeks for formation of vital organs like heart, spine, brain, palate, abdomen, kidneys, bladder, hands and feet. The placenta, amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord are also assessed during the test.

Growth scan: It is carried out in the 28-40 weeks to measure if the baby is too small or too big than expected and to identify placental location. It’s also done to diagnose probability of pregnancy complication from maternal diseases, like diabetes, pelvic and urinary

complications, etc.
3 D and 4 D ultrasonography images can also be obtained with current technology. 

All in all, an ultrasound scan can determine fetal growth and development and likelihood of abnormalities in the baby as well as the mother.

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How is ultrasound scan during pregnancy carried out? 

Two techniques viz. abdominal ultrasound and vaginal ultrasound could be performed. In the former, the transducer is moved over the abdomen while in the latter the probe is covered with a condom and is then inserted through the vagina without harming the baby. A vaginal ultrasound is done during early stage of pregnancy and is suitable for obese women. 

You need to change your dress with a gown and will be covered with a sheet while undergoing vaginal ultrasound.


How to prepare for ultrasound scan during pregnancy? 

Abdominal ultrasound during early stages of pregnancy requires drinking several glasses of water before the test to produce clear images of the baby. Just like any other ultrasound technique, a gel will be applied on the tummy and the vagina during abdominal and transvaginal ultrasound respectively.

It will be indeed a joyous moment for you to see your baby on the computer monitor. 

The procedure takes 30 minutes for completion


What to expect after the ultrasonography?

The gel will be immediately wiped off and you can change the gown after that. Some women may have spotting (pink or light brown) after vaginal ultrasonography. 

Abnormal ultrasonography reports are immediately sent to concerned doctors who should further decide what needs to be done.



Are there any risks associated with pregnancy ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound scan has been used since decades and it is performed by expert sonographers. There are several guidelines for conducting ultrasonography on pregnant women, which are completely taken care of during the process. In one sentence, it’s absolutely safe. 

To end on a positive note, enjoy watching what’s your baby is doing inside your womb during the ultrasonography. You can ask for a DVD and watch the video at home.

Written by: healthplus24.com, team
Date last updated: Feburary 06, 2014