What is ultrasound?
The ultrasound is an imaging technique that is used to assess the health of the fetus.It consists of applying high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) on the body surface of the patient, and collect energy that is reflected from the different materials to be finding its way, these being captured and transformed into an image. It’s basically the same mechanism used by bats flying at high speed without bumping into objects, or the radar system used by submarines. Since 1958, when the first obstetric ultrasound was performed, there has been a revolution in relation to attendance at a pregnancy normal and pathological.
How many ultrasounds are done during pregnancy?
The number is three established pregnancy, although the obstetrician must decide how many scans are needed for the proper monitoring, taking into account any special circumstances that may arise.
When Should I have the first ultrasound?
The first ultrasound should be performed on the first visit to determine: This first scan is performed vaginally, i.e. the device that emits waves is inserted through the vagina, being able to see much more detail on this path at this gestational age. Depending on the size of the embryo a more thorough examination of their anatomy is made, we must bear in mind that an embryo just 7 weeks is 18 mm. However, in an embryo of 13 weeks will be special emphasis on measuring skin fold thickness is observed at the level of the neck, as an indirect sign of chromosomal problems (embryos with abnormal number of chromosomes).
First: to determine whether pregnancy T here, seeing a live (or more) embryo, that is placed inside the uterus, otherwise it would be called en-topic pregnancy, and clinical attitude change.
Secondly, ultrasound to determine gestational age, i.e. how many weeks is really pregnant, always from a point of view ultrasound to further evaluate their growth.
In a third paragraph: should assess the internal genital tract, uterus (or womb) and ovaries.
When should I have the second ultrasound?
On the twentieth week of gestation a new ultrasound is performed, in which the main objective is to assess the fetal morphology for possible indirect signs of malformations and chromosomal abnormalities.We should clarify at this point something extremely important: ultrasound, even in the most expert hands, is a method that can not detect defects or alterations after birth become visible, is just an added help, but it is not infallible. In addition, there are cases of chromosomal alterations (type syndrome or similar), you might not have an impact on the shape of the fetal organs.
In this second ultrasound controls growth and also the location of the placenta.
When should I have the third ultrasound?
The following aims ultrasound assessment of fetal growth and development, such as the amount of fluid that surrounds him and the state of the placenta. The umbilical cord and the blood runs through him, assessing the capacity of oxygenation and nutrition it has are also examined. These last two scans are performed abdominal, placing the probe on the abdominal surface.
Is it harmful to the fetus ultrasound?
Although there may be a potential risk due to the high frequency waves, it has not shown any biological effect on the fetus.In summary, we can say that ultrasound is a technique that has revolutionized the world of obstetrics, and although more sophisticated equipment is used, it does give a general and complete information of the fetus, but not infallible, taking into account furthermore, there are cases in which the problem is not apparent fetal morphological impact.