USG Scan: How Does it Work? What is the Purpose?


Ultrasonography is a vital part of the pregnancy journey. High-frequency waves are passed through the uterus. They send signals to the device to create pictures of your baby. Most of the USG scans are performed by highly skilled technicians. These can be done at any stage of pregnancy and comes with zero side effects. There are different kinds like transvaginal, 3-D, 4-D ultrasounds. You can also expect foetal echocardiography. It is a specialized process that helps to determine congenital heart diseases in babies.

Ultrasounds are not 100% accurate. But they can detect several complications in a painless and safe manner. Doctors can perform further analysis to confirm any problems. Knowing how scans are done can help mothers prepare well. You should also learn the purpose to understand that these tests are well worth it.

How is a USG Scan Done?

Pregnancy ultrasounds are mostly done abdominally. It will require you to drink sufficient amounts of water. A full bladder will push your uterus up towards the outer portion of the pelvis. Now you will have to lie down on the sonography bed or table. The sonographer applies a gel made from water and propylene glycol. It reduces the air between the transducer and the patient’s skin. The acoustic transmission of sound waves is also improved. A hand-held probe is glided over your stomach in various positions. They might also push at certain areas to see deeper structures of the body.

Black and white images of the unborn baby are instantly sent to the monitor. You can feel the heartbeat and movements of the little one at an advanced stage. The doctor can also tell you the due date, length of the child and number of pregnancies. USG scans are the most non-invasive and non-time-consuming process to check the baby’s well-being.

Purpose of an USG Scan

Screenings are recommended to begin as early as 6-8 weeks. This is especially for the ones that have a high-risk pregnancy. It is done to figure out the reason behind bleeding, abdominal pain or the risks of a miscarriage or birth defects. You might have to undergo a vaginal USG at this stage. A thin transducer is gently placed inside the vagina through your uterus. The sound waves bounce back to the machine in the form of reflections.

The other main reasons why an USG in pregnancy is necessary are:

  1. Checking whether the embryo is developing inside the womb rather than elsewhere like the fallopian tubes.
  2. Ensuring accurate anatomy of the brain, kidney, heart and liver. It will also help check for abnormalities in these organs. The fingers and toes are counted too along with checking the development of the foetal structures like limbs and spines.
  3. Estimating the gestational age of the child can be confirmed by a scan.
  4. Determining the size and location of the placenta.
  5. Knowing if the baby is growing at a normal rate without complications.

There are no risks associated with an ultrasound. Make sure to turn up for early viability, anomaly, NT and growth scans as and when scheduled. These are essential ways to determine the health and development of the child.

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