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What is ultrasound?

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound is the method by which different anatomical structures can be visualized using ultrasound. When you are pregnant, this investigation provides you with valuable information about your baby's health and pregnancy evolution. We present to you the types of ultrasounds you can do during pregnancy and their benefits.

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound is the main method of investigation in evaluating fetal anatomy and normal or abnormal development of the fetus. No X-rays or other types of radiation are used to perform the ultrasound, so it does not present any risk to you or your baby's development.

Types of ultrasound in pregnancy

Transabdominal ultrasound in pregnancy

Transabdominal ultrasound is the most commonly used, because it is less invasive. To perform this ultrasound, full bladder investigation is required. An abdominal ultrasound lasts about 30-60 minutes.

Transvaginal ultrasound in pregnancy

Transvaginal ultrasound offers a higher resolution than the transabdominal one, providing better quality images especially for people with high body mass index. Transvaginal ultrasound usually takes about 15-30 minutes. It can be of two types:

  • 3D fetal morphology ultrasound - is performed with high performance equipment, which allows a rigorous topographic analysis of every detail of fetal morphology. This way you can visualize the face and the limbs of the fetus. It is relevant at any stage of pregnancy, but it is recommended in the period between weeks 20 and 24.
  • 4D fetal morphology ultrasound - offers, like 3D ultrasound, a three-dimensional photograph, but differs from this in that it is possible to see much better the cardiac activities of the fetus, the movements of the body and its internal organs. The quality of the images offered by 4D ultrasound depends on the ability of the doctor, but also on the position of the fetus or the thickness of the maternal wall.

When the ultrasound is done during pregnancy

Ultrasounds are done in the three trimesters of pregnancy. However, there are cases when the pregnancy presents risk to the fetus and the doctor may recommend you to do more ultrasound.

  • The first ultrasound is performed in the first trimester of pregnancy, between weeks 11 and 14. During this ultrasound, the doctor checks if the embryo is implanted in the uterus. At the same time, with the help of ultrasound, the age of pregnancy is evaluated.
  • Another ultrasound is done in the second trimester of pregnancy, between weeks 18-23. It is considered to be one of the most important and thorough ultrasounds during pregnancy. During this investigation it is evaluated whether the fetal organs have developed in a core way
  • The third examination is carried out between weeks 28-33. During this ultrasound, it is verified that the fetus has grown sufficiently and that the placenta has developed properly.

In some cases, the doctor may recommend an ultrasound at the time of birth to evaluate the position of the fetus and umbilical cord.

How many ultrasounds did you do during pregnancy? Tell us your opinions in the comments section below!

Tags Fetal ultrasound Pregnancy Birth