Fetal ultrasound is a prenatal ultrasound also known as Sonogram. It is an imaging technique which uses high- frequency sound waves, not audible to the human ear, that are transferred by the abdomen through a small device known as a transducer to see inside the abdomen. It is a safe way to examine the growth and development of the baby. As a result, it forms the images of the baby in the uterus. Ultrasound helps to show the images of the developing baby, ovaries, amniotic sac and placenta. It also detects for any birth abnormalities. Fetal ultrasound helps to understand the profile of the growing baby and assists in managing the pregnancy in cases of any genetic defects, if present. The family can plan accordingly whether to continue or terminate the pregnancy. This ultrasound is also used to know the exact gestational age of the unborn.
Fetal ultrasound is usually done during the first trimester and then again in the second trimester (18-20 weeks) usually when the amniotic images are properly visible. Ultrasound can be done frequently in order to keep monitoring the baby’s health.
There is another enhanced imaging technique known as Transvaginal ultrasound, which produces a more magnified image of the baby. In this procedure, the probe is inserted through the vagina. This ultrasound is done usually in the early period of pregnancy to look for any problem in the ovaries or uterus. It helps prevent the risk of early labor as the test can assess if there is any shortening of the cervix.