Are ultrasounds usually correct as to what pregnancy week a woman is into?

(May 4, 2010)

Congratulations on the confirmation of your pregnancy! It is indeed something that a woman awaits throughout her life. During your pregnancy, your doctor may advise you to undergo ultrasounds in order to determine or help in detecting any abnormalities. An ultrasound is generally combined with other tests like amniocentesis or triple tests to help in diagnosing a problem. They also help in knowing which week of pregnancy are you in.

In addition to the above mentioned reasons, there are some specific reasons for which ultrasounds are done in different trimesters of pregnancy:

•    First Trimester. When you are in the first trimester, a transvaginal scan (a type of ultrasound) is done. In this type of ultrasound, probe transducers are inserted inside your vagina in order to obtain the images. This is done in order to confirm the pregnancy, confirm the heartbeat of the fetus, to look for any abnormal gestation, to determine possible ectopic pregnancy, and to measure the gestational age of the fetus.

•    Second Trimester. In the second trimester a standard ultrasound is done which uses a transducer over your tummy in order to get two dimensional images of the developing baby. This ultrasound helps in knowing the estimated delivery date and also helps assess the growth of the baby, evaluates the baby’s well-being, looks out for any abnormalities, and helps to determine any fetal development problems.

•    Third Trimester. The third trimester ultrasounds are advanced ones and are done to determine the fetal developments. This ultrasound also helps in locating the placenta, monitor fetal movements, and looks for any pelvic or uterine abnormalities in the mother.

An ultrasound is a very safe procedure during pregnancy, provided it is done properly. There are a prescribed number of ultrasounds that needs to be done at different points of time in pregnancy. This helps in monitoring the fetal developments and the progress of pregnancy in the prenatal period. It also helps in solving the problem before it is too late.

So far, ultrasounds do not have any known harmful effects on the baby and the mother. However, the long-term effects are still unknown. Hence, it is better to get an ultrasound done only if your doctor asks you to get one done. For those who do not have any complications, they do not have to undergo an ultrasound. Follow your doctor’s guidelines and you will have a happy delivery.

Submitted by P T on May 4, 2010 at 12:21

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