Ultrasound in Pregnancy
In early pregnancy ultrasound can be used to confirm the pregnancy as well as finding out if there is one baby or twins. It can also be used to exclude a more serious condition such as ectopic pregnancy. It is the investigation of choice when there is bleeding in early pregnancy as it can exclude or confirm miscarriages. Many women have unusual symptoms in pregnancy including discomfort and pain and in these circumstances an ultrasound scan can be very useful in reassuring women that their pregnancy is going well.
At around twelve weeks of gestation an ultrasound scan is used together with a serum blood test to screen for the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities in the pregnancy.
Later on in the pregnancy ultrasound is very useful in checking the anatomy of the baby, finding out your baby’s gender, as well as establishing whether the baby is growing well or not.
Ultrasound is also used in checking for fibroids or ovarian cysts during pregnancy and it is particularly useful to check the position of the placenta or afterbirth. It is used to find out whether your baby is lying in the normal or in the breech position and can also be used to help in assessing the feasibility for induction of labour.
Outside of these medical indications ultrasound is invaluable for reassurance of expectant mothers. This new 21st century technology has made it possible to have an insight of your baby’s own world inside of the womb. The 3D imaging and the moving 3D imaging (4D scan) have brought joy to many families.