Undergoing sonography or ultrasound during various phases of pregnancy is a must. It helps to keep track of the growth and development of babies and take right action in case of complications. Read on to learn more about the importance of sonography during pregnancy.
A sonography is a procedure that can be used to evaluate the foetus, placenta and amniotic fluid during a pregnancy. It is performed using an instrument called a scanner that works on the echo principle. The machine sends out sound waves that are reflected back from the surfaces that it scans. These echoes or reflected sound waves form black-and-white images on a screen, similar to an X-ray.
How is Sonography or Ultrasound Performed?
The sonography is a painless procedure. The doctor will request you to drink a lot of fluid so that the procedure can be performed on a full bladder. This enables the doctor to get a clearer picture. It is a painless procedure, save for the discomfort of a full bladder. In the abdominal technique, the doctor coats the woman's abdomen with mineral oil or aqua gel and runs the hand-held scanner over her belly.
What is Transvaginal Ultrasound?
Sometimes a Transvaginal Ultrasound can be performed early in the pregnancy that involves the insertion of a vaginal probe. The woman's body is exposed to sound waves for a fraction of a second. This procedure is not known to have any harmful effects.
How is Sonography Helpful during Pregnancy?
Let us take a look at how problems are detected and dealt with during pregnancy with the help of sonography.
Detecting Complicating during Pregnancy
If a woman is bleeding in early pregnancy (6-12 weeks), a sonography can be performed to detect foetal movement. If there is no sign of movement, it could indicate a miscarriage. A sonography can also identify ovarian cysts and ectopic pregnancy as the cause of pelvic pain in early pregnancy.
Determining Birth Defects
Chorionic villus sampling is a procedure that is performed for some women around 9-11 weeks into the pregnancy to determine whether the foetus has any birth defects. In these cases, a sonogram comes in handy to determine the site of the placenta from where the tissue sample should be obtained. Some women have an amniocentesis approximately 11-18 weeks into their pregnancy to screen for genetic defects. Again a sonography is helpful as it helps the doctor identify the amniotic fluid as well as the position of the placenta and foetus that have to be avoided by the needle.
If the mother has had a child earlier with a birth defect like anencephaly, spina bifida or hydrocephaly, a sonography performed between 14-25 weeks of pregnancy could detect these abnormalities.
Determining the Nature of Pregnancy
In the case of high-risk pregnancies where the doctor might need to induce labour or do a caesarean section, a sonography performed at 16-25 weeks of pregnancy enables the doctor to measure the size of the foetus' head and calculate the gestational age and due date of the baby. A sonography which is done at 16-25 weeks can also detect if the mother is going to have twins, especially if the foetus seems to be inordinately big or there is a history of twins in the family.
Sonographies are normally also done late in the pregnancy (32-40 weeks) for high-risk pregnancies. This is to monitor foetal movement and respiration and check the volume of amniotic fluid.
Songraphies are very important part of pregnancy as they help the obstetricians to keep complete track of the growth and development of the baby. The development of babies can be completely and minutely monitored with the help of sonographies. Therefore, it is a must for pregnant mothers to get sonography done as and when prescribed by the doctors.
It is also possible to determine complications during pregnancy with the help of sonography. It helps obstetrician to choose the right course of action in such situations. So, we can say that sonography is a gift of technology for ensuring the wellbeing of the innocent little lives growing inside the wombs.
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- The Indiaparenting Team