Ultrasound used in Pregnancy

Ultrasound used in Pregnancy


What is an ultrasound scan?

An ultrasound scan involves transmitting high frequency sound waves through the uterus. These bounce off the baby and the returning echoes (sound waves) are translated by a computer into an image on a screen that reveals the baby's position and movements.

What to expect during an ultrasound examination?

Examples of Ultrasound scans :-
Standard ultrasound 2D  |  3D  |  4D  |  Doppler - Echocardiograph


Examples of Ultrasound scans

Two dimensional (2D) ultrasound.

Standard ultrasound - Ultrasound scanning or sonography is a widely used technique to produce live 2D images from inside the body. Most diagnosis will still be made with the 2D scans. This type creates two dimensional images that help your health care provider determine your baby's gestational age and evaluate your baby's growth and development. Most ultrasounds reveal a healthy, normal baby or sometimes multiples. A standard prenatal ultrasound exam usually takes about 20 minutes.

The 12 weeks scan [10 weeks fetal age] above shows a very active fetus. The mother can not feel these movements and laughs as she looks at the screen with her baby kicking out.

Transvaginal ultrasound - With this type of ultrasound, the health care provider places a slender, wand like device in your vagina to send out sound waves and gather the reflections. Transvaginal ultrasounds are used most often during early pregnancy, when the uterus and fallopian tubes are closer to the vagina than to the abdominal surface.

Three dimensional (3D) ultrasound

33 weeks This newer type of ultrasound offers 3D images, sometimes with photo quality details. It is currently used in selected medical centers to help health care providers further evaluate images from advanced ultrasounds. If your doctor suspects your baby may have birth defects, she may order a new technology called three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound, which produces still images that are almost as detailed as photographs.

Four dimensional (4D) ultrasound

week 32 Taking the technology one step further, 4D ultrasound produces a moving picture version of 3D ultrasound. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that companies seeking to capitalize on this new technology are cropping up in centers around the country, offering parents prenatal keepsake images for a fee. Because the long term effects of repeated ultrasound are not known, the FDA says that a woman should have an ultrasound only when her doctor recommends it.

Doppler ultrasound


Fetal echocardiography
with color flow imaging showing ventricular inflow and spectral Doppler showing the normal flow pattern at mitral valve.
 Doppler ultrasound is a special form of ultrasonography that images and examines blood flow. In particular, a Doppler ultrasound examines the change in pitch in the soundwaves produced, which provides information about blood flow. The direction of blood flow is shown in different colors on the screen. This type of imaging can provide details about circulation which is particularly helpful if you have high blood pressure or your baby is growing more slowly than expected.

If your doctor suspects your baby might have a heart defect, he or she may suggest a fetal echocardiography -- a special ultrasound that looks at the baby's heart. Most ultrasounds examine the structure and function of the heart, but fetal echocardiography provides more detailed pictures that can help your doctor rule out a problem or define it more clearly.
Embryonic Heart Rate (EHR)
Since the advent of sonography, and specifically endovaginal sonography, a window on the developing human embryo and fetus has been opened that was not available before.

It is known that the normal embryonic heart rate (EHR) accelerates until the 9th menstrual week. The heart rate in the early pregnancy has a characteristic acceleration phase, peak rate of 175 B/M (+/-20, 2SD) at approximately 9.2 weeks, followed by a deceleration until approximately 15-17 weeks. After the deceleration phase the heart rate then becomes relatively constant after 16 weeks at about 145 B/M (+/-25), with a very slight negative slope, until term.

  1. The heart rate accelerates at 3.3 B/M during the first month of beating from around the start of the 5th LMP week until 9.2 weeks.
  2. The above acceleration is approximately 10 B/M every 3 days.
  3. The acceleration rate is approximately 100 B/M during the first month of beating.
  4. If the embryonic age calculated from the EHR is >7 days less than the age by CRL, there appears to be an increased likelihood of first trimester failure or anomalies.
    This difference in age is calculated as: CRL age - EHR age = 7 or more days.

Week by week scan pictures:   First Trimester

What to expect during an ultrasound examination?


Week By Week Pregnancy Progress Calendar

First Trimester
Week 1   Week 2   Week 3   Week 4   Week 5   Week 6   Week 7  
Week 8   Week 9   Week 10   Week 11   Week 12   Week 13
Second Trimester
Week 14   Week 15   Week 16   Week 17   Week 18   Week 19   Week 20  
Week 21   Week 22   Week 23   Week 24   Week 25   Week 26
Third Trimester
Week 27   Week 28   Week 29   Week 30   Week 31   Week 32   Week 33  
Week 34   Week 35   Week 36   Week 37   Week 38   Week 39   Week 40

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