Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. It is also called sonography.
Ultrasound is frequently used during pregnancy to monitor the baby’s development. It can also be used to diagnose medical conditions such as tumors or heart problems. In this blog post, we will discuss what ultrasound is and how it works.
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a diagnostic medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. It is also called sonography.
Images can provide information that can help doctors diagnose and treat different diseases and conditions. Ultrasound scans are performed either with an ultrasound device outside your body or by placing a tiny device inside your body.
Why is an ultrasound done?
Ultrasounds are used to look at a variety of things in the body, including:
- The structure and function of organs
- Blood flow
- Heart problems
During pregnancy, ultrasounds are used to:
- Monitor the baby’s development
- Determine the due date
- Check for multiple pregnancies
- Check for fetal abnormality
- Check for a viable pregnancy
How does an ultrasound work?
Ultrasound waves are produced by a transducer, which is a small hand-held device that the technician will hold during the exam. The waves pass through your body and bounce off internal organs and structures.
The reflected waves are then converted into images that can be seen on a computer screen.
What should I expect before an ultrasound?
You may be instructed to do the following before your ultrasound begins:
- Remove any jewelry from the region being examined.
- Change into a gown.
- You’ll sit or lie on an exam table during the procedure.
During an ultrasound
An ultrasound is usually a painless procedure. You may feel pressure on your skin from the transducer, but this is usually not uncomfortable. The exam itself only takes a few minutes to perform.
If you are pregnant, you may be asked to drink water before the exam so that your bladder is full. This helps to create clearer images of the baby. You will then lie on your back on an exam table, and your abdomen will be exposed. A clear gel will be placed on your skin to help the transducer move smoothly over your body. The transducer will then be moved across your abdomen to create images of the baby.
After the procedure
After the exam, you can expect to return to your normal activities. There are no side effects from having an ultrasound. If you had a transvaginal ultrasound, you may be advised to empty your bladder and to drink plenty of fluids. This helps to flush out the gel that was used during the exam.
If you have any questions about ultrasound, please speak to your doctor.
Risks of an ultrasound
There are no known risks from having an ultrasound. In some cases, a transvaginal ultrasound may be needed. This is when the transducer is placed inside the vagina. This type of ultrasound may be uncomfortable for some women. There is also a small risk of infection from having a transvaginal ultrasound.
If you are pregnant, ultrasounds are considered safe for both you and your baby. Ultrasounds have been used for decades to image unborn babies.
Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves that can be used to examine a variety of things inside the body. Ultrasounds are most commonly used during pregnancy to monitor the baby’s development, but they can also be used to diagnose other conditions. If you have any questions about ultrasound, please speak to your doctor.