When Are Scheduled Ultrasounds Performed During Pregnancy

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When Are Scheduled Ultrasounds Performed During Pregnancy
When Are Scheduled Ultrasounds Performed During Pregnancy

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Ultrasound examination is one of the most important methods for assessing the condition and development of the fetus. As a rule, a pregnant woman undergoes three planned ultrasound scans at different stages of pregnancy, allowing to identify the compliance or inconsistency of the baby's health indicators with the existing standards.

When are scheduled ultrasounds performed during pregnancy
When are scheduled ultrasounds performed during pregnancy

First ultrasound examination

The first ultrasound examination is carried out in order to clarify the duration of pregnancy, determine the location of the fetus in the uterus and the state of the placenta. It is usually prescribed at 10-14 weeks of pregnancy, but it can be carried out earlier at 8-12 weeks. At this stage, it is important to determine the size of the embryo and the thickness of the fetal collar space. It should be no more than 3 mm. If this indicator exceeds the norm, then there is a risk of developing pathologies, and the pregnant woman is sent for additional research. The baby is already visible on the screen of the ultrasound machine. His movements and heartbeat are visible in the form of a blinking dot.

Second ultrasound examination

The second time a pregnant woman is sent for a screening ultrasound examination at a period of 20-24 weeks. At this stage, the purpose of diagnosis is to measure the fetus, assess the state of the placenta and the volume of amniotic fluid. The results of the second survey are compared with the first in order to make an objective conclusion about the rate of fetal development. At this time, the doctor's task is to identify signs of possible genetic or chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.

An ultrasound examination for a period exceeding 20 weeks of pregnancy, it is already possible to determine the sex of the child, if the position of the fetus in the uterus allows you to examine its genitals. Sometimes, if the child is in an uncomfortable position for the doctor, the pregnant woman may be asked to take a short 10-minute walk or eat something sweet so that the baby will activate and change position, and then try again to determine the sex of the fetus.

Third ultrasound examination

For the third time, the expectant mother undergoes ultrasound diagnostics of the fetus at 32-34 weeks of pregnancy. The case is close to childbirth, so the purpose of the third examination is to assess the condition and position of the fetus. Predictions are made about whether the expectant mother will be able to give birth to a child naturally, and the indications for a caesarean section are determined if the child is in breech presentation or is entwined with the umbilical cord. During this stage of pregnancy, some fetal malformations appear. On the third ultrasound, Doppler or Doppler ultrasound is also performed - a special ultrasound diagnostic procedure, with which you can assess the blood flow in the vessels of the fetus, umbilical cord and uterus.

On the monitor of the device, you can already see the fully formed face of the future baby, because he looks like a newborn. In some medical centers, a pregnant woman may be offered a three-dimensional ultrasound examination, in which the picture on the monitor will be three-dimensional and color. At this stage, many mothers-to-be want their first printed photos of their baby. And although numerous studies confirm the safety of 3D ultrasound, there is evidence that during the study there is additional heating of tissues and the formation of small gas bubbles, the consequences of which are still unknown.

Additional ultrasound diagnostics

If you suspect an ectopic pregnancy threatening a rupture of the fallopian tube, ultrasound diagnostics are prescribed in the early stages of pregnancy before a scheduled examination. The decision on the need for such a study is made by the gynecologist. Additional ultrasounds are also possible at other stages of pregnancy in the presence of pain, bleeding, signs of threatened abortion, etc.

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