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Your health care provider may request that you have one or more fetal ultrasound scans during your pregnancy. A fetal ultrasound scan is a medical procedure which uses sound waves to produce images of your baby in the womb. These images are used to determine the health and well-being of your baby. Fetal ultrasound is a test done during pregnancy that uses reflected sound waves.
It produces a picture of the baby fetus , the organ that supports the fetus placenta , and the liquid that surrounds the fetus amniotic fluid.
The picture is displayed on a TV screen. It may be in black and white or in colour. The pictures are also called a sonogram, an echogram, or a scan. They may be saved as part of your baby's record. Fetal ultrasound can be done two ways.
In a transabdominal ultrasound, a small hand-held device called a transducer is moved over your belly. In a transvaginal ultrasound, a transducer is put into your vagina. Fetal ultrasound is the safest way to check for problems and get details about your fetus. It can find things such as the size and position of the fetus. It does not use X-rays or other types of radiation that may harm your fetus. It can be done as early as the 5th week of pregnancy.
Sometimes the sex of your fetus can be seen by about the 18th week of pregnancy. Ultrasound is one of the screening tests that may be done in the first trimester to look for birth defects, such as Down syndrome. The first-trimester screening test uses ultrasound to measure the thickness of the skin at the back of the baby's neck.
This screening also includes blood tests that measure the levels of two substances that may be related to birth defects. Fetal ultrasound is done to learn about the health of your fetus. Different details can be learned at different times during your pregnancy. Transvaginal ultrasound is most often done early in a pregnancy to check the age of the fetus.
It may also be done if your doctor thinks you may have an ectopic pregnancy. It is sometimes done late in pregnancy to find the location of the placenta.
And it may be done in a high-risk pregnancy to check the length of the cervix. You may need a full bladder for the test. If so, you will be asked to drink water or other liquids just before the test.
You will be asked not to urinate before or during the test. In most cases, women in the third trimester do not need to have a full bladder. For a transvaginal fetal ultrasound, the vaginal transducer is usually covered with a latex sleeve and a lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly. If you are allergic to latex, tell the health professional before you have the test.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the need for the ultrasound, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form What is a PDF document?
Most often, a fetal ultrasound is done by an ultrasound technologist. But it may be done by a radiologist or obstetrician. Fetal ultrasound can be done in a doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. You may not need to remove your clothes for this test. You can lift your shirt and push down your skirt or pants.
If you are wearing a dress, you will get a cloth or paper covering to use during the test. The test takes about 30 to 60 minutes. When it is finished, the gel is cleaned off your skin. You can urinate as soon as the test is done. Ultrasound techs are trained to gather images of your fetus. But they can't tell you if it looks normal or not. Your doctor will share this information with you after the ultrasound images have been reviewed by a radiologist or perinatologist. During a transabdominal ultrasound, you may have a feeling of pressure in your bladder.
The gel may feel cool when it is first put on your belly. You will feel a light pressure when the transducer is passed over your belly. Normally a transvaginal ultrasound does not cause discomfort.
You may feel a light pressure when the transducer is moved in your vagina. There are no known risks linked with a fetal ultrasound, either to the mother or fetus. There are some ultrasound centres that sell videos for keepsake or entertainment purposes. Health Canada does not recommend ultrasounds for this reason. It recommends ultrasounds only to obtain medical information about a fetus. Keepsake centres may use the ultrasound machine at higher energy levels and for longer times than needed in order to get a "good picture.
You may not get details about the test right away. Full results are usually available in 1 or 2 days. Many conditions can affect fetal ultrasound results. Your doctor will discuss any abnormal results with you in relation to your past health. You may not be able to have the test, or the results may not be helpful, if:. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. British Columbia Specific Information Your health care provider may request that you have one or more fetal ultrasound scans during your pregnancy.
Top of the page. Test Overview Fetal ultrasound is a test done during pregnancy that uses reflected sound waves. Why It Is Done Fetal ultrasound is done to learn about the health of your fetus. Find out if you are pregnant with more than one fetus.
Estimate the age of the fetus gestational age. Estimate the risk of a chromosome defect, such as Down syndrome. Check for birth defects that affect the brain or spinal cord.
Look at the size and position of the fetus, placenta, and amniotic fluid. Check the position of the fetus, umbilical cord , and placenta during a procedure such as amniocentesis or umbilical cord blood sampling. Find major birth defects, such as a neural tube defect or heart problems. How To Prepare You may need a full bladder for the test. How It Is Done Most often, a fetal ultrasound is done by an ultrasound technologist.
Transabdominal ultrasound You may need to have a full bladder. A full bladder helps transmit sound waves, and it pushes the intestines out of the way of the uterus. This makes the ultrasound picture clearer. You will not be able to urinate until the test is over. But tell the ultrasound tech if your bladder is so full that you are in pain. If an ultrasound is done during the later part of pregnancy, a full bladder may not be needed.
The growing fetus will push the intestines out of the way. You will lie on your back on an examination table. If you become short of breath or feel faint while lying on your back, your upper body may be raised or you may be turned on your side. A gel will be spread on your belly. A small, hand-held device called a transducer will be pressed against the gel on your skin.
It will be moved across your belly several times. You may watch the monitor to see the picture of the fetus during the test. Transvaginal ultrasound You do not need to have a full bladder. You will lie on your back with your hips slightly raised. A cover such as a condom will be placed over the thin transducer. The transducer will be put gently into your vagina.
It will be moved to adjust the image on the monitor.
What to Expect at Your First Ultrasound
In your first trimester zero to 14 weeks , a blood test will be taken to check your blood type, Rh type , and antibody screen - test for syphilis, HIV recommended , hepatitis and protective levels against rubella German measles. If your initial blood test notes that you are Rh-negative a shot of Rh-immune globulin will be given around 28 weeks. Prenatal genetic screening generally involves two blood tests, one in the first trimester and one in the second. For some women, they may also need an ultrasound in the first trimester. These tests will only tell you your chance of having a baby with one of these conditions and do not tell you that your baby will be born with one of the conditions listed.
Pregnancy lasts an average of days 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period LMP. Read our report on the 13 best pregnancy iPhone and Android apps of the year here. If you have regular day menstrual cycles, there are two ways to calculate your due date. The other way to calculate your due date is to use a pregnancy wheel.
Getting Ultrasounds During Pregnancy
Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive, diagnostic test that produces images without the use of radiation. It is a valuable resource for tracking the health of a pregnancy. Ultrasound is also used to view organs such as the liver, uterus, ovaries, thyroid, and aorta. It is also used to help evaluate blood clots or the narrowing of vessels. Digital ultrasound is offered at our Abbotsford and Langley clinics. Please make an appointment for Ultrasound exams. Fees are charged for 'no-shows'; please provide 24 hours notice to cancel your appointment. Please inform the receptionist or sonographer prior to the start of your obstetrical ultrasound if you are interested in knowing the sex of your baby. For more info. Ultrasound Sonography Types of Ultrasound Scans Gall bladder, Abdominal Obstetrical - scans used during pregnancy Pelvic, Renal - scans of kidneys, cysts, stones or the bladder Breast - scans to determine cysts or lesions Scrotal Thyroid Musculoskeletal Parotid Vascular - scans to look for blockages in arteries of the neck, and to look for clots in leg veins.
How do I prepare?
Your health care provider may request that you have one or more fetal ultrasound scans during your pregnancy. These ultrasound scans provide important medical information that will help you and your health care provider create the best care plan for you and your baby. A fetal ultrasound scan is a painless medical procedure, ordered by your physician, midwife or nurse practitioner. It uses sound waves to make a live picture of your baby in the womb that can be seen on a monitor.
Early Pregnancy Ultrasound is used to confirm dates of conception and assess the early health of your pregnancy. This scan is usually carried out at around 8 weeks of your pregnancy. It may also be helpful to perform an internal scan transvaginal scan. Both types of scan are safe, and are carried out with minimal discomfort.
ULTRASOUND NUCHAL TRANSLUCENCY
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That initial glimpse at your baby-to-be is unforgettable. Getting that initial glimpse of your baby on an ultrasound machine is one of the most exciting moments of pregnancy. Yet many parents-to-be are filled with questions about the first pregnancy ultrasound: When should I get the exam? Will it hurt? What are doctors looking for?
Your health care provider may request that you have one or more fetal ultrasound scans during your pregnancy. A fetal ultrasound scan is a medical procedure which uses sound waves to produce images of your baby in the womb. These images are used to determine the health and well-being of your baby. Fetal ultrasound is a test done during pregnancy that uses reflected sound waves. It produces a picture of the baby fetus , the organ that supports the fetus placenta , and the liquid that surrounds the fetus amniotic fluid. The picture is displayed on a TV screen. It may be in black and white or in colour. The pictures are also called a sonogram, an echogram, or a scan.
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Due Date by Ultrasound
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Guideline No. 388-Determination of Gestational Age by Ultrasound.
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