An Inside Look at the Types and Uses of Pregnancy Ultrasound

Pregnancy is a fascinating journey for most women including first-time moms and those who have had children before. What makes it even more exciting is that you can look at your baby before giving birth using an ultrasound test. However, pregnancy may also come along with its uncertainties because while pregnant, you want to ensure that you and your baby are healthy and at no risk of any complications. Thanks to pregnancy ultrasound in Newport Beach, you can now keep track of your baby’s health and development.

What are the different types of ultrasounds used in pregnancy?

Abdominal ultrasound

This is the most common type of ultrasound used during pregnancy, which involves using sound waves to produce images of an embryo. Before this test, your doctor may ask you to have a full bladder. This means that you may need to take several glasses of water a few hours before the test. A full bladder facilitates a more effortless movement of the sound waves. During the test, you will lie on an examination table facing upwards. Your doctor will apply a clear gel on your belly to reduce air between a transducer and your skin to allow for clear images. You will not experience any pain during the test. However, you may experience slight discomfort when your doctor presses on areas close to your entire bladder.

Transvaginal ultrasound

Most women get a transvaginal ultrasound during the first three months of pregnancy as it offers more accuracy than an abdominal ultrasound. Your doctor may also recommend this test if you experience bleeding and pain during pregnancy. Similar to an abdominal ultrasound, you will lie on an exam table facing upwards. However, you may get the clothing off your lower body. Your doctor will gently guide a small, lubricated probe into your vagina. While this test may be painless, you will feel some pressure from the transducer. Your doctor will adjust the probe inside your vagina as images of the fetus appear on a computer. The entire process takes approximately 30 minutes to one hour.

Doppler ultrasound

Your doctor may recommend this type of ultrasound to check for the baby’s blood flow in case of abnormal growth. A Doppler ultrasound is mainly used during the last trimester, but it may be done earlier if you have Rh disease – a blood condition where your antibodies destroy the baby’s blood cells. Using a transducer, your doctor will measure your baby’s blood flow and listen to the heartbeat.

3-D and 4-D Ultrasound

A 3-D ultrasound involves the use of high-frequency waves and special imaging software to produce clearer images of your baby. This test enables your doctor to detect any facial defects such as cleft lip and other abnormalities. 3-D ultrasound is also used to make sure there’s average growth and development of your baby’s organs. A 4-D ultrasound is similar to a 3-D, but it shows the baby’s movements in a video.

Getting an ultrasound during pregnancy is essential as it also helps you determine if you have multiple pregnancies. For further inquiries on pregnancy ultrasounds, reserve a session with your doctor at OC Fertility®.

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