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Ultrasounds are a common diagnostic tool utilized by medical professionals everywhere. The most commonly thought of use of an ultrasound is for an expecting mother, being able to view her child as it grows in utero. But there are many other uses for an ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology.


Ultrasound technology was first utilized by the military in 1917 to detect submarines. The technology itself has had a wide variety of medical applications. It’s excellent at imaging soft tissue in the human body. A transducer is placed on the exterior skin, in many cases, and sound waves outside of the range of which a human can hear pass through the tissues and then bounce back providing an image to a computer in real time. Ultrasounds are also able to use doppler to get readings on blood flow through veins and arteries by monitoring the change in frequency as the blood moves.


There are two approaches an ultrasound technician will use for an Ob/Gyn ultrasound. There are exterior ultrasounds and transvaginal ultrasounds. Both provide pros and cons depending on the area of imaging that is needed. An exterior ultrasound is exactly what is done when looking at a fetus as it grows into a baby. It can also be used to observe the ovaries but that can be much more difficult as there are other organs in the way. A full bladder for an external ultrasound of the ovaries is essential as it pushes them closer to the transducer. The other option for ultrasounds are transvaginal. These is where a small probe-shaped transducer is inserted into the vagina, allowing the technician to get better visuals of the ovaries, cervix, and uterus. This can be beneficial in diagnosing bleeding conditions or abnormal periods, tumors, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  


Contact your local Ob/Gyn at Women to Women for any of your gynecological needs where we believe in quality care for women, by women.

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