An ultrasound or a sonogram is a standard prenatal test that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the baby and the mother’s reproductive organs. An ultrasound can be exciting since it allows you to see your baby for the first time before giving birth. Depending on when your doctor performs an ultrasound in Lake Nona, you can even tell the gender of your baby. The test also helps your healthcare provider monitor the baby’s growth and development, clearing any worries you may have. Here are other reasons why your specialist may recommend an ultrasound.

Why would I need an ultrasound?

Physicians often recommend an ultrasound for medical reasons, but this test can also be used for non-medical reasons, such as confirming the baby’s gender. Although ultrasound is generally safe for the mother and baby, specialists discourage using it for non-medical reasons. There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend an ultrasound during pregnancy. If you missed your periods and have other pregnancy symptoms, an ultrasound can confirm if you are pregnant.

During the first trimester, your service provider uses an ultrasound to check the fetal heartbeat check the baby’s gestational age to determine your due date. Since an ultrasound provides real-time images, it can help establish whether you have multiple pregnancies and check for any abnormal growth in the fetus. Your doctor also uses this prenatal test to ensure that a mother’s reproductive organs, including the ovaries, uterus, cervix, and placenta, are functioning well.

In the second and third trimesters, an ultrasound helps monitor the fetus’ growth and development and can also be used to screen for congenital disabilities. Congenital disabilities are conditions that a baby is born with, and they can alter the change and function of one or several body parts. Screening does not necessarily establish if the baby has a defect, but it helps the doctor determine if your baby is more likely than others to have a health problem. After screening, a diagnostic test can help determine if the baby has a defect. Some of the defects a baby may be born with include Down syndrome, spinal Bifida, or heart defects.

What kind of ultrasound do physicians use?

The type of ultrasound your doctor uses depends on how far you are in pregnancy and what they are looking for. The most common ones include transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds.

How do you prepare for an ultrasound?

If the doctor recommends an ultrasound earlier in the pregnancy, you need to have a full bladder before the test. Most women have an anteverted womb which may block the sound transmission pathway. For this reason, your healthcare provider may ask you to drink two to three glasses of water at least an hour before your scheduled imaging test. It would be best to not pee before the test to ensure your bladder is full during an ultrasound. When your bladder is full, it pushes the bowel out of the pelvis, allowing for better ultrasound transmission to target organs. As a result, the doctor gets a clear image of your fetus and reproductive organs.

Consult with your doctor today at Contemporary Women’s Care if you have further inquiries about ultrasound.