Pregnancy: Prenatal Ultrasound
Introduction to Prenatal Ultrasound
A prenatal ultrasound test uses high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, that are transmitted through the abdomen via a device called a transducer to look at the inside of the abdomen. With prenatal ultrasound, the echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images of your baby.
Most prenatal ultrasound procedures are performed topically, or on the surface of the skin, using a gel as a conductive medium to aid in the quality of the image. However, a transvaginal ultrasound is an alternative procedure performed using a tubular probe that is inserted into the vaginal canal. This method of ultrasound produces an image quality that is greatly enhanced, but it is not a common prenatal procedure. However, it may be used early in pregnancy to get a clearer view of the uterus or ovaries if a problem is suspected. It may also be used early in pregnancy to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy (gestational age).
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