Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body. As the sound waves travel through your body, they reflect off tissues, sending information to a computer that interprets the waves and produces an image.
Your ultrasound may be performed transabdominally or transvaginally. A transabdominal ultrasound is the type used for pregnant women. The devices that emit sound waves, called the transducer, is moved across the abdomen, sending the waves down toward the uterus.
A transvaginal ultrasound uses a long, narrow transducer that’s placed inside the vagina. This method produces a clearer image of your pelvic organs, because it’s closer to reproductive organs.
Ultrasound is safe to use during pregnancy to evaluate the baby’s growth and development because it relies on sound waves rather than radiation. While ultrasounds are usually done during the first and second trimester, they can be performed any time during pregnancy.
First trimester ultrasounds aren’t routine, but they may verify a pregnancy, determine the location of the pregnancy, and be used to estimate the due date. Every pregnant woman receives a second trimester ultrasound to establish the size and position of the baby.
Your baby’s sex can often be identified when the second-trimester ultrasound is done after 20 weeks because the external genitalia are visible. In some cases, however, the image may not be clear or the baby’s position may block the view.
The team at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine offer state-of-the-art 3D and 4D ultrasounds. With 3D imaging, you can see the facial structure and anatomy as a static three-dimensional image. With 4D ultrasound, live streaming video of the real-time images are captured, showing movement like the baby yawning or the motion of heart valves.
Ultrasound can help diagnose many different reproductive health problems as it shows detailed images of your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Your doctor may use ultrasound to determine the cause of pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding.
A few of the most common conditions diagnosed with ultrasound include:
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