Ultrasound, also known as a sonogram, is a prenatal test that uses sound waves to show images of your growing baby in your uterus. It enables your provider to monitor your baby’s health and development. Doctors can also use ultrasound to see if you need other tests to check your baby’s health. Pregnancy ultrasound Newport Beach uses radiation; hence safe for you and your baby. Most women get an ultrasound in the second trimester at eighteen to twenty weeks of pregnancy. The number of pregnancy ultrasounds you get varies in women depending on the individual’s and the baby’s health.

When will you need a pregnancy ultrasound?

Your doctor may perform an ultrasound to confirm you are pregnant and check your baby’s heartbeat, muscle tone, movement, and overall development. It can also show your baby’s age and growth to help determine your due date and check the number of babies you are carrying. A pregnancy ultrasound also shows if your baby is in the head-first position before birth.

Additionally, your doctor can use ultrasound to check the likelihood of certain conditions like:

Birth defects

Ultrasound can help screen for congenital disabilities like spina bifida or heart defects. After an ultrasound, your doctor may perform more diagnostic tests to confirm if your baby has a birth defect. Birth defects can alter the shape or function of one or more parts of your baby’s body. They can alter how the body develops or works or cause overall health issues.

Help with other prenatal tests

Ultrasound can help with other prenatal tests, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. CVS involves your doctor taking placenta cells for testing. Amniocentesis is where your provider takes amniotic fluid and cells from the sac around your baby.

Pregnancy complications

During pregnancy, you may encounter certain health complications. Common pregnancy complications include ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and bleeding.

What are the different types of pregnancy ultrasound?

The most common ultrasounds include:

Transabdominal ultrasound

Transabdominal ultrasound is the most common form. Your provider will recommend you lie on your back on an exam table, cover your belly with a thin gel layer, and move the transducer across the abdomen. Your doctor may recommend you take several glasses of water before the procedure to help sound waves move more easily and get better images.

Transvaginal ultrasound

Transvaginal ultrasound involves your provider moving a thin transducer shaped like a wand into your vagina. You may feel pressure during the process, but it should not cause pain. Your bladder needs to be empty or partly full. The entire process takes about twenty minutes.

Doppler ultrasound

Your doctor may sometimes recommend a Doppler ultrasound to check your baby’s blood flow if there is abnormal growth. It involves your provider using a transducer to listen to your baby’s heartbeat and measure the blood flow in the umbilical cord and some of your baby’s blood vessels. Doctors often use the Doppler sound in the last trimester.

Ultrasound is a prenatal test doctors use to monitor your baby’s health and development. It can help detect certain birth effects, check your baby’s gender, and help determine the due date. Schedule an appointment at OC Fertility® for a pregnancy ultrasound to monitor your baby’s development.