Ultrasound (also called a sonogram) is a prenatal test offered to most pregnant women. It uses ultrasound waves to show a picture of your baby in the uterus (womb). Ultrasound helps your health care provider check on your baby’s health and development.
What are some reasons for having an ultrasound?
Your provider uses ultrasound to do several things, including:
- To examine and get details of your ovaries and uterus (womb). Ovaries are where eggs are stored in your body.
- To know whether you are pregnant or not
- To check your baby’s age and growth. This helps your provider figure out your due date.
- To check your baby’s heartbeat, muscle tone, movement and overall development
- To check to see if you are pregnant with twins, triplets or more (also called multiple pregnancy)
- To screen for birth defects, like spina bifida or heart defects. Screening means seeing if your baby is more likely than others to have a health condition; it does not mean finding out for sure if your baby has the condition. After an ultrasound, your provider may want to do more tests, called diagnostic tests, to see for sure if your baby has a birth defect. Birth defects are health conditions that a baby has at birth. Birth defects change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. They can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops, or in how the body works.
- To help with other prenatal tests, like chorionic villus sampling(CVS)
- To check for pregnancy complications, including ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and miscarriage.
Does ultrasound have any risks?
Ultrasound is safe for you and your baby when done by your health care provider. Because ultrasound uses sound waves instead of radiation, it is safer than X-rays. Providers have used ultrasound for more than 30 years, and they have not found any dangerous risks.
Dr. Rekha Rajendrakumar
- MBBS; MD; DNB; FICOG; FICMCH; PGDMLE; MRCOG(1)
- Fellow- Reproductive Medicine
- Fertility specialist and Gynaecologist
- Diploma in Human Resources Development
- Diploma in Hospital Administration
- Diploma in Health and Hospital Management
- Medical Director, Miracle IVF Hospital & Chandana Hospital, Bangalore