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Ultrasound Scans in Pregnancy

Thursday, August 23rd 2012. | Pregnancy

Ultrasound Scans in Pregnancy Definition

Ultrasound is a medical imaging method which has the particularity of not using ionizing radiation but ultrasound.  Ultrasound has the advantage to visualize the fetus in real time to study its morphology, its vitality, growth, etc. …

The probe emits ultrasound in tissue, and that any harm to you and the fetus. These ultrasounds are “returned” to the probe that was issued as “echoes”. These reflected waves are different depending on the nature of the tissues encountered (bone, skin, fat, liquid) and their depth. Using computer analysis rather complex, these “echoes” are transformed into images. For over 30 years they have been used, ultrasound is safe for the child to become.

Ultrasound scans in pregnancy

Ultrasound scans in pregnancy

When should perform these tests?

During your pregnancy, obstetric three ultrasounds are recommended. The first ultrasound in the first quarter (11 to 14 weeks) and the other two in the second (21 to 24SA) and third quarters respectively (31 at 34). 
Following these periods is especially important for the first ultrasound.

What are the ultrasounds?

Ultrasound performed during pregnancy have several goals, rather specific period in which they are practiced. 
Ultrasonography to the first 11-14 weeks of amenorrhea (SA) is to objectify the number of embryos to precisely date pregnancy (embryo length measuring length or cranio-caudal (LCC)) and some morphological detect early.

The second ultrasound (21-24SA) is mainly oriented screening possible morphological abnormalities. In addition, it allows for the fetal biometrics, that is to say, different measures to assess fetal growth. The parameters usually measured are the diameter and the circumference of the fetal head, the scope of the abdomen and femur length.

The third ultrasound (31-34SA) is mainly focused on fetal growth. The doctor (or midwife) performs for this purpose and meets the biometric growth curves.

Vitality fetal presentation (head down or up), the appearance and location of the placenta, amniotic fluid are plenty of other elements (among others) that will be studied during the 2nd and 3rd ultrasound quarters .

It should be noted that this is a minimum number of ultrasounds. Indeed, depending on clinical circumstances, it may be necessary to repeat an exam (if an item could not be well identified) or realize these ultrasounds so earlier (stunting, twins)

How is the procedure performed it?

The exam is lying down in a dark room allowing good visualization of images .. Do not hesitate to have a voiding just before the ultrasound to make the examination more comfortable. Also, avoid applying creams on the abdomen on the day of the exam, this may hinder the penetration of ultrasound, and therefore the examination.

After coating the skin of the abdomen ultrasound gel (cold enough substance), the doctor or midwife asks the ultrasound probe on the abdomen. Then, depending on the elements to be observed, it will change the position sensor and build more or less hard to obtain the desired images.

The test is painless, silent and often rapid. However, sometimes it may take some time when some elements are difficult to identify. 
examination ends with the presentation of report of the review will be to treasure and bring your obstetrician (or midwife ).

What should we think before performing obstetrical ultrasound?

You can eat and drink as normal.

  • Do not forget to pee before performing the ultrasound.
  • Remember to bring with you the date of your last menstrual period or the supposed date of pregnancy.
  • Do not forget to bring the previous ultrasounds at each examination
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