The Uses and Different Types of Pregnancy Ultrasounds

Ultrasound technology is widely used in healthcare facilities to produce images of internal body organs. Your doctor may recommend Madison ultrasound to examine and check for abnormalities in your liver, kidneys, heart, and abdomen. If you are pregnant, your specialist may use ultrasound imaging to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, check for any fetal abnormalities, confirm the fetal heartbeat and monitor the growth and positioning of the fetus. This imaging test is safe for both the mother and baby. However, specialists discourage the use of ultrasounds for non-medical reasons.

What are the types of pregnancy ultrasounds?

3-D ultrasound

This type of imaging allows your specialist to see the height, width, and depth of your fetus. 3-D ultrasound helps diagnose any problems and abnormalities during pregnancy. This type of ultrasound involves the use of a special probe and software in creating a 3-D image. 3-D ultrasound is not widely available as it requires a specially trained technician.

Transvaginal ultrasound

This is an internal ultrasound and is mainly used during early pregnancy stages. Your specialist may suggest this type of ultrasound to obtain clearer images of the fetus. During the test, your doctor will insert an ultrasound probe or an endovaginal transducer inside your vagina. The process is slightly uncomfortable compared to an external ultrasound.

4-D ultrasound

This is also referred to as a dynamic 3-D ultrasound. A 4-D ultrasound produces detailed images of the baby, including movements. This test also captures highlights and shadows. The process used during a 4-D ultrasound is similar to that of other ultrasounds. However, your specialist uses special equipment during this imaging test.

Fetal echocardiography

Your doctor may recommend this test to diagnose congenital heart defects in the baby and examine the overall heart function. Fetal echocardiography provides images of the fetus’ heart’s shape, size, and structure. This test may take longer than traditional ultrasound.

How do you prepare for an ultrasound?

For an ultrasound during the early stages of pregnancy, your doctor may require you to have a full bladder to obtain clearer fetus images. You may need to drink three glasses of water an hour before the ultrasound. Do not urinate in order to make sure your bladder is full during the test process.

What to expect during an ultrasound

You may lie down on an exam bed or table, and your specialist applies a water-based gel on your abdomen and pelvic area. The gel facilitates the efficient traveling of sound waves. Your doctor will then move a hand-held transducer on your belly, and images of the fetus will simultaneously appear on a monitor. As your doctor moves the small wand, you may need to hold your breath as the image is captured. Your specialist will then wipe off the gel after confirming that the required images have been well captured. After the test process is complete, you may now empty your bladder.

Besides monitoring your pregnancy, an ultrasound also helps evaluate medical conditions such as uterine fibroid, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis. Reserve a session with your gynecologist at Physicians for Women – Melius, Schurr & Cardwell for ultrasound imaging to monitor your baby’s growth and development.