What is ultrasound?
Uzi is a method of examining internal organs and tissues. It is performed using an ultrasound machine equipped with a special sensor and monitor. The sensor is called a transducer. He, in contact with the skin of the belly of a pregnant woman, produces oscillations (sound waves), which directs deep into the body. There they collide with the internal organs of the woman (as well as with the body parts and the internal organs of the baby) and are reflected from them, subsequently displayed on the monitor.
Ultrasound is two-dimensional, three-dimensional and four-dimensional. What is the difference between them? With a two-dimensional ultrasound, only vague outlines of the fetus in black and white are visible on the monitor. Thanks to a three-dimensional ultrasound, a physician can see a three-dimensional color image, examine in detail the organs and systems of the baby. Four-dimensional ultrasound can see the movements of the fetus.
This procedure is absolutely painless and does not create any discomfort.
Why do ultrasound?
The study using ultrasound is not due to the whims of future parents, but an urgent need to diagnose various deviations in the development of the child, the problems of the pregnancy itself.
Actually, the first ultrasound can confirm pregnancy in the early stages, to establish the presence of a fetal egg (sometimes two or even three), determine the exact duration of pregnancy. Very valuable is this method in the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. After all, if you diagnose it in the early stages, you can avoid surgery.
Moreover, in later terms, ultrasound allows you to see if there are pathologies. These include the detachment of the placenta, the threat of spontaneous abortion, hypertension of the uterus. In time diagnosed pathologies and, accordingly, the measures taken will allow to save pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. Also, ultrasound can detect fetal malformations. Sometimes they can be cured, and sometimes, unfortunately, a woman will be asked to terminate the pregnancy.
On the eve of the birth of ultrasound, you will find out some of the nuances on which the course of the process itself will depend, as well as the behavior of doctors. Remember, only this method can with an accuracy of 100% say whether there is a cord with the umbilical cord. And this is very important, because it threatens complications of the birth process, and sometimes creates a danger to health, or even life, the baby.
Do not forget that some women undergo ultrasound. And much more often than the bulk of pregnant women. Such indications include chronic diseases. The most common among them - diabetes, various blood diseases.
Do not neglect the procedure if you have already had pregnancies that ended unsuccessfully (miscarriages, frozen pregnancies) or if you have seriously ill people (for example, Down's syndrome) in the family.
First ultrasound in pregnancy
The direction for the first ultrasound in pregnancy is usually a woman at 12-13 weeks of gestation. This early research method is extremely important: with his help, the doctor will be able to evaluate the primary formation of the fetus, give an assessment of the process of laying down organs and systems.
In some cases, the first ultrasound in pregnancy can be carried out earlier. First, to confirm the presence of pregnancy, as well - to exclude the fact of pregnancy ectopic. Suspicion of ectopic pregnancy requires compulsory examination with the help of ultrasound - only in this way will it be possible to establish reliably whether this pathological condition actually exists. And only so will the opportunity in time to intervene in the situation and carry out the necessary cleaning, otherwise serious consequences can not be avoided.
The cause for an earlier conduct of ultrasound can serve as an alarming symptom in the form of vaginal bleeding (or bloody discharge) and drawing pains in the lower abdomen. Such symptoms with a high degree of probability signal a threat of termination of pregnancy. And, although only by ultrasound alone, it is very difficult to determine if there is a threat of miscarriage, however, by means of such a study it is possible to find out the cause of the bleeding. According to the results of ultrasound, the doctor will be able to assess the situation in a comprehensive manner and give the woman appropriate recommendations.
At what time will ultrasound show pregnancy?
Very often a woman goes to an ultrasound, still only suspecting a pregnancy, without the direction of a gynecologist and of her own free will. Such actions are usually dictated by the desire to know whether it is worth talking about pregnancy, when the characteristic symptoms are present, and the test of the result does not show.
The question arises: at what time will ultrasound show pregnancy and is there any sense in 1-2 weeks of delay to go to the examination in order to finally decide? The answer is: the ultrasound is able to show the pregnancy at the time of 3-4 weeks, and this is exactly the same 1-2 weeks of delay in menstruation.
But not always, if the ultrasound shows the fetal egg at the earliest possible time, it can be guaranteed to talk about the presence of pregnancy. Unfortunately, the fetal egg may be empty and not contain an embryo, and it will be possible to fix this only from the 5th week of pregnancy.
Planned ultrasound in pregnancy
If pregnancy progresses favorably and without any abnormalities, for all the time of bearing a baby a woman will be assigned three scheduled ultrasound sessions. The first ultrasound is carried out in the first trimester, the second - in the second trimester, the third, respectively - in the third trimester. Planned ultrasound at pregnancy allows to estimate, whether all goes "under the plan", and, in the presence of suspicions, is spent repeatedly.
The first planned ultrasound is a method of diagnosing pregnancy as such, it allows to determine whether there are risks of miscarriage, to diagnose "malfunctions" in fetal development at the earliest stages - when all vital organs and systems are laid down and any deviation is fraught with the development of pathologies.
The second planned ultrasound in pregnancy is appointed in the second trimester to assess the development of the baby, and at the same time - the placenta state. Besides, during the second session of ultrasound examination, it is usually possible to determine the sex of the future baby.
The third planned ultrasound is, as you might guess, at the time interval of the third trimester. At this stage, the degree of development of the baby, the state of the uterine-placental blood flow and even the presentation of the baby are traditionally studied.
When to do ultrasound in pregnancy?
Clearly answer the question, when to do ultrasound in pregnancy, a specialist who leads pregnancy. Usually, the timing of ultrasound is determined as follows:
- the first ultrasound is 10-14 weeks. The gestational age and the approximate term of labor, the number of embryos, the tone of the uterus are determined. Also the condition of fetal formation is investigated, the probability of chromosomal abnormalities and malformations, the thickness of the cervical fold (the collar zone), one of the main markers of Down's syndrome, is estimated;
- The second ultrasound is 19-23 weeks. Determine the sex of the baby, the size of the fetus and the compliance of these indicators with the duration of pregnancy. In addition to assessing the size and growth rate of the fetus, it is possible to evaluate and develop the internal organs of the baby. In addition, the placental state, the amount of amniotic fluid, the absence of chromosomal abnormalities is confirmed;
- The third ultrasound is 32-36 weeks. It is necessary to diagnose late fetal anomalies, which have not been manifested before. The size of the fetus is determined, the date of the forthcoming delivery is specified again. The condition of the fetus and its position before childbirth is assessed, the possibility of umbilical cord entanglement is excluded.
Is it harmful during pregnancy?
Most representatives of modern medicine unanimously assert that ultrasound is safe for the fetus and does not cause embryotoxic effects. Their opponents, representatives of various spheres of life, unanimously declare the allegedly monstrous consequences of using an ultrasound machine. In fact, there is information that almost all the "horror stories" are very exaggerated and do not have any serious evidence. Yes, ultrasound actually causes a slight heating of the body cells, but this does not affect the condition and health of the fetus. The relationship between the use of ultrasound and various pathologies and abnormalities of newborns has not been proven.
However, many question such arguments, they say, once it's not proven, it does not mean that it does not. Proceeding from this, the following judgment will be reasonable: while scientists and physicians investigate this issue, we will be cautious and once again we will not expose ourselves and the baby to the effect of ultrasound. But if this is vital - another question, because sometimes 10 minutes of the survey save the life of a crumb. Do we need any more arguments? For those who were not convinced of this, we also report: it is proved that ultrasound is safe for the baby and for the mother for half an hour. And the radiation, which is so afraid of the opponents of ultrasound, in fact lasts less than a minute. The rest of the time the device is working at reception.