Gynaecology Pregnancy

Understanding Prenatal Ultrasound Scans: Types, Importance, and Guidelines

Understanding Prenatal Ultrasound Scans: Types, Importance, and Guidelines

Your doctor can view what’s going on inside your womb using an ultrasound scan, which is painless, noninvasive, and safe. Sound waves are used in scans to produce an image of your unborn child, placenta, and uterus. They assist your doctor in monitoring your pregnancy, looking for any physical anomalies, and checking the health and growth of your unborn child. Ultrasound scans in pregnancy are scheduled at specified times and offer essential information to help you have the best pregnancy possible. To undergo an ultrasound scan for pregnancy in Hyderabad, visit Parvathi hospital, where you will find the latest technology being used for the scans that also produce efficient and quick results.

What Is an Ultrasound Scan?

An ultrasound scan uses sound waves to produce images of the interior organs. It can also be used to create images of an unborn child when a woman is pregnant. During an ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves are transmitted through the uterus, reflecting off the baby’s body as echoes.

Your ultrasound specialist can see the form, positioning, and movements of your baby by turning the echoes into an image on a screen. Depending on the type of scan being performed and the stage of your pregnancy, the frequency or length of the sound waves employed will vary.

Hard tissues, such as bone, produce the largest echoes since they reflect sound waves the most. In the picture, they appear white, while soft tissues are gray. Amniotic fluid, which surrounds your baby, is one type of fluid that appears black. This is because there are no echoes as the sound waves pass through them. These various hues will be examined by the ultrasound specialist performing the scan to interpret the images. Because they provide a more realistic view of your kid, 3D and 4D color scans are also gaining much popularity. You only view your baby’s skin in 3D and 4D scans, not their insides. Your infant’s lips and nose can be visible to you, and you might even catch a glimpse of them yawning or poking their tongue out.

Moreover, it is worth mentioning that there are no side effects of ultrasound scan in pregnancy hence making it a very safe procedure for mother and child alike.

Types Of Ultrasound Scan in Pregnancy

1. Dating scan with cardiac activity

The most significant dating scan is the one that shows heart activity. This scan, which is typically performed between 8 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, seeks to determine the gestational age, evaluate the growth and development of the fetus, and look for any potential anomalies. To create images of the growing embryo or fetus, ultrasound equipment is used.

Heart activity must be seen during this scan since it proves the pregnancy is still viable. Additionally, it aids medical professionals in identifying any pregnancy-related concerns, such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, which can be fatal for both mother and child if neglected.

2.Date estimating scan

An ultrasound is used to gauge the growth of the fetus during a date-estimated scan, which is commonly carried out during the first trimester (8 to 11 weeks) of pregnancy to help determine the baby’s due date. Using the data from this scan, the date of the baby’s expected birth can then be predicted.

It’s vital to remember that while estimated scans might give a rough delivery due date, they are only sometimes exact. The precise due date depends on the fetus’ growth rate and the mother’s age.

3.NT scan 3D

When pregnant women in India are in the prenatal stage, an NT scan is a crucial pregnancy test to determine the likelihood that their unborn child will have chromosomal abnormalities. Nuchal Translucency Scan, as the name suggests, is often carried out between weeks 11 and 14 of pregnancy. The skin thickness at the back of the infant’s neck is measured during this procedure to check for probable genetic abnormalities like Down syndrome.

The NT scan is noninvasive and does not endanger pregnant women or their unborn children. It evaluates nuchal translucency and detects any potential structural defects affecting a baby’s health, offering practical knowledge about fetal development.

4.Anomaly scan

Usually, the abnormal scan takes place between weeks 18 and 20 of pregnancy. This ultrasound examination is a thorough evaluation of the fetus’ anatomy that looks at every component of the infant’s body to look for any potential abnormalities or flaws.

A sonographer will utilize high-frequency sound waves to create precise photographs of the growing fetus during an abnormal scan. The skull, brain, heart, spine, limbs, and other organs are all extensively examined during the exam. This makes it possible to identify and treat major medical issues before they have a chance to have an impact on the health or development of the newborn. An abnormality scan additionally enables parents to have a closer look at their unborn kid.

5.Foetal echo

The fetal echo is a safe and noninvasive prenatal test to evaluate an unborn child’s heart condition. The heart has matured sufficiently to allow for a thorough examination, which is often performed between weeks 23 and 24 of pregnancy. The procedure creates images of the fetus’s heart using ultrasound technology, giving clinicians essential details about its composition and operation.

The fetal echo scan enables medical professionals to detect potential heart issues early on and act quickly to treat or intervene. The sonographer will examine the fetus’ heart’s size, shape, rhythm, and blood flow patterns throughout the scan. Additionally, they will look at other heart-related structures, as the main blood vessels are connected to the heart.

6.2D scans

Another noninvasive prenatal scan performed between 26 and 32 weeks is a 2D scan. A 2D scan is an ultrasound to examine the growing fetus during pregnancy. It is one of several scans that may be carried out to monitor the fetus’s development and health throughout the pregnancy. The 2D scan, the most fundamental kind of ultrasound, creates two-dimensional, flat images of the fetus. Additionally, it can rule out probable issues like ectopic pregnancy or confirm multiple pregnancies.

Although a 2D scan helps learn about fetal development, it has significant drawbacks. For instance, it might not offer precise pictures of specific organs or anatomical features.

7.3D scan

An ultrasound technique called a 3D scan for pregnancy produces three-dimensional images of the fetus within the mother. High-frequency sound waves are employed to produce finely detailed images of the fetus during this prenatal scan. The noninvasive procedure usually takes under an hour to finish. At various points throughout pregnancy, it can be done. However, they are typically carried out between weeks 26 and 30 to aid in the detection of any potential problems with fetal development or anomalies that may call for additional testing or treatment.

8.4D scan

A new ultrasound technique called a 4D ultrasound scan in pregnancy creates real-time, high-quality images of the developing baby. Instead of producing flat pictures like a conventional 2D ultrasound, a 4D scan has a 3D image with more depth and movement. As if watching a live television stream, you can observe your unborn child moving about inside your womb. Although a 4D scan can be done at any point in your pregnancy, most women opt to do it between 26 and 30 weeks.

9.Foettal Doppler

A fetal Doppler scan uses ultrasound technology to monitor fetal heartbeat throughout pregnancy. This noninvasive test may be performed at 28 to 32 weeks.

During a fetal Doppler scan, high-frequency sound waves create images of the growing fetus. The tool utilized for this test is a wand-like equipment that sends sound waves through the abdomen and into the uterus. Thanks to sound waves reflected off the fetus, healthcare practitioners can visualize and assess several facets of fetal development. This is a common ultrasound scan in 7th month pregnancy.

Infographic: Types of Ultrasound Scan in Pregnancy

Ultrasound Scan in Pregnancy

Final Words

In conclusion, there is much discussion and concern about ultrasound scan during pregnancy in India. While ultrasound technology has transformed prenatal care by offering insightful information about fetal development, it is equally important to balance its advantages and potential drawbacks.

The number of ultrasounds that should be performed during pregnancy depends on the mother’s health, the baby’s development, and any medical issues. To protect the safety and well-being of both the mother and the unborn child, healthcare professionals must adhere to established norms and recommendations.

It is even more important to raise awareness of the need for prenatal ultrasound scans and the optimal timing of these procedures in India, where healthcare resources can differ significantly between regions. This education should be provided in conjunction with the guarantee of access to high-quality healthcare to ensure that every pregnant mother can use this beneficial tool.

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