In modern medicine, most of the strategies are focused on prevention, with early diagnosis being the most important. In the case of pregnancy, the procedure is no different, since ultrasound scans have become one of the studies that provide the highest amount of information related to the wellbeing of the unborn child.
The main objective of pregnancy ultrasounds is to monitor the development of the baby, to determine with greater precision its gestational age, weight, size and to identify if there is any problem with the placenta or the amniotic fluid that may represent a risk for both the mother and the new baby coming.
If you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant, it is quite likely that you are thinking: Where can I find ultrasounds near me?
At Clínica Hispana Rubymed located in Katy, Texas, you can find this service at a reliable professional team with enough experience serving the Spanish-speaking community residing in the United States.
What is an obstetric ultrasound and what types are available?
Obstetric ultrasound is a system that uses sound waves to produce images, allowing to “observe” the fetus inside the womb of a pregnant woman as well as the mother’s ovaries and uterus. It is a painless procedure, with no harmful effects, which doesn’t require further preparation to be completed successfully.
Thanks to pregnancy ultrasounds performed on a regular basis, the obstetrician has the opportunity to diagnose and evaluate a wide variety of medical conditions in both the mother and the unborn child, and for this reason, at least three routine ultrasounds are usually performed throughout the pregnancy to ensure that the delivery progresses under the correct conditions.
Types of pregnancy ultrasounds
There are three ultrasound techniques used for pregnancy evaluation:
- The conventional, two-dimensional or classic procedure is performed through the abdominal and transvaginal ways, depending on the stage of gestation.
- Doppler ultrasound, a conventional ultrasound, specialized in the analysis and evaluation of blood circulation of the mother and the fetus. Thanks to this, it is possible to evaluate the functioning of the placenta and estimate the supply of nutrients and oxygen reaching the fetus.
- Three- and four-dimensional ultrasound scans, which use the latest technology to obtain a more accurate visualization of the baby, in aspects related to its shape and volume, generating high quality images, and allowing fetal movements to be observed in real time.
What can be detected with pregnancy ultrasounds?
As we have already mentioned, it is essential to perform at least one ultrasound every three months. When prenatal control is performed in private establishments, it is quite possible to include monthly ultrasounds, but if there are no warning signs, it would be usual for the pregnant woman to have a check-up with ultrasound every three months.
- First trimester. The first ultrasound is usually performed within the first 10 weeks of gestation and normally would be to confirm the pregnancy. During this procedure the gestational age is established and the heartbeat can be heard. The nuchal fold may also be measured to discard Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome.
- Second trimester. Between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy another study is performed, whose objective will be to evaluate the fetal anatomy and rule out chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. This is done by measuring the nuchal translucency, flow in the ductus venosus, etc. The sex of the baby may also be known, although this should be confirmed in the next study.
- Third trimester. From the 22nd week it is possible to study in detail the fetal anatomy, as well as the uterine irrigation and identify if there are severe anatomical alterations, knowing the level of risk of premature delivery or any other complication.
- Last weeks of gestation. From 32 weeks, a fourth examination will be planned in order to observe the vitality of the baby, its growth, its position inside the uterus, to make a weight projection and to collect all the information that is essential for the correct development of the delivery.
How is the procedure performed?
For most pregnancy ultrasounds, the pregnant woman will lie on her back on an examination table that can be reclined so that she can adopt certain positions to improve the quality of the images obtained. A gel will be applied to the abdominal area and the transducer will be placed on the body to capture the images.
Occasionally, a transvaginal ultrasound may be necessary, which is performed by inserting the transducer into the vagina to obtain more detailed images of the ovaries and uterus. This technique is usually performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. These examinations are painless, quick, do not cause discomfort afterwards and do not require additional preparation.
Importance of ultrasounds during pregnancy
The main objective of pregnancy ultrasounds will be the study and monitoring of the development of the fetus in all its stages of growth. With ultrasounds it is possible to obtain images of the baby, its organs, characteristics, position inside the womb, measurements, quantity and quality of the amniotic fluid and many other data of interest for both the parents and the attending physician.
Thanks to this modern technology, it is possible to make various therapeutic decisions that can save the life of the baby and the pregnant woman. The morbidity and mortality associated with pregnancy has decreased considerably since the appearance and standardization of obstetric ultrasound, mainly due to early diagnosis.
It is a non-invasive method that never puts the mother or the unborn child at risk, and can be performed as many times as necessary, always at the discretion of the attending physician and according to the evolution of the pregnancy.
In addition, it is a study that implies a greater emotional connection of the parents with the new baby, since it allows them to observe its physical characteristics and to be in full knowledge of the stages of development. With pregnancy ultrasounds, parents have the possibility to check the perfect anatomy of the little baby throughout the gestation process.
Find ultrasounds near me: If you are in Katy, Texas, Clinica Hispana Rubymed assures you access to prenatal checkups and exams at very affordable prices. It is a clinic designed to meet the health needs of the Latino community living in the United States, which has a high quality medical team.