YOUR CONTRACEPTION OPTIONS
An ultrasound is a high-frequency sound wave test that allows you to see inside the uterus. But, how does it work? Well, sound waves are sent into your uterus, bounce off the fetus, and return back. Using high-level technology, the sound waves provide an outline of what the womb and the fetus look like. The sounds waves are then displayed on a screen into black and white images. The sound waves are completely harmless to you and your fetus. You will never have to worry about the health of your baby when you are getting an ultrasound. Part of the reason why ultrasound technology is so valuable is because it is a noninvasive method to check up on the developing process of your baby.
Your first ultrasound typically should occur anywhere from six to seven weeks into your pregnancy. At this ultrasound exam, the ultrasonographer will look for the baby’s heartbeat and estimate the age of the fetus. Estimating this bit of information is important because then your ob/gyn physician will know exactly when you will be due to give birth. Another very important reason for this first ultrasound exam is to see if you are having a ectopic pregnancy, or one that is growing outside of the womb.
Your second ultrasound exam takes place between 11 and 13 weeks. This is called the first-trimester screening and is used to determine any chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus, such as Down syndrome. One way in which to test for this genetic disorder is to perform a nuchal translucency test (NT Scan). In this test, the translucent skin at the back of the fetus’s neck is tested. Typically, babies who have Down syndrome will phenotypically have an excess amount of neck tissue in this area. Therefore, by measuring how much excess skin there is, physicians will be able to tell if a child may have Down syndrome.
Another ultrasound can take place anywhere from 18 to 20 weeks. This exam typically involves a head-to-toe scan for any abnormalities or growth problems. In this ultrasound, physicians will be able to determine if, developmentally, there is anything wrong that is occuring. An example of this could include certain body part that are growing larger and faster than others.
If you are asked to have multiple ultrasound exams, you should not be worried. And if you’re told you don’t need any more exams, you also don’t have to worry. If your ob/gyn, however, does ask you for multiple ultrasounds, it is mainly for the ability to monitor your baby’s growth. For example, if you are having multiple babies, if you have diabetes, or if your baby is showing fatal movement or breathing. However, judging the health of your baby by the number of ultrasounds you have is not an accurate measurement. Sometimes, physicians will ask for multiple ultrasounds for the sole purpose of monitoring the baby’s full development.
If you want to keep the gender of the baby a secret, make sure to express that you want that portion of the ultrasound unknown. Don’t be alarmed if a nurse or a physician’s references the fetus as any particular pronoun. Just because they say, “look at his movement,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will be born a boy. Sometimes, using pronouns is a habit that is hard to break. Make sure you let your physician know that you do not want to know the gender of your baby and they will not tell you. After all, if you have entrusted a good ob/gyn physician and staff, they will know better than to reveal a gender.
An ultrasound technician will be able to tell the gender of your baby during the anatomical survey of the fetus, though, sometimes, it can be done earlier. Most of the reason it takes time to reveal the gender is due to the positioning of the baby in the womb. If he/she are facing away, the physician won’t be able to tell until the full body scan.
If you are pregnant or may become pregnant in the foreseeable future, you will want to entrust the health of you and your baby with an ob/gyn physician you can trust. At Women to Women, we are an all-women staff, here to provide to-be mothers the best care in obstetrics and gynecology. If you are living in the Hollywood, Florida area, we invite you to visit us online today and see if our care is what you are looking for. Also, if you have any questions do not hesitate to call us. We have understanding and experienced representatives who are willing to answer any questions you might have.
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