How many times should ultrasound be done during pregnancy

How many times should ultrasound be done during pregnancy

India has the highest number of birth defects. About 1 in 33 babies has a birth defect. This problem can be diagnosed even before delivery, in which pregnancy ultrasound has been considered effective. Every pregnant woman wants to understand the pros and cons of getting an ultrasound done during pregnancy. For this reason, we have come up with this article, in which all the information related to ultrasound and sonography during pregnancy has been given in detail.

What Is Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a type of imaging test, also known as a sonogram. It creates pictures of organs, tissues, and other structures inside the body to confirm them. Sound waves are used in this. It can also show images of activities happening inside the body, such as the heartbeat or the blood flowing in the blood vessels. It also shows a picture of the internal organs of the pregnant woman as well as the development of the baby in the womb.

Now read Types of Ultrasound in Pregnancy.

Types Of Ultrasound In Pregnancy

Depending on the stage of pregnancy and the health of the pregnant woman, various types of ultrasound are available during pregnancy. Will understand about them in detail below.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

In this transvaginal ultrasound done during pregnancy, the condition of the woman’s reproductive organs such as the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, etc., is tested through the vagina. The small device used during this ultrasound is placed inside the vagina.

Pelvic Ultrasound

It is also called transabdominal ultrasound. In this ultrasound, pelvic organs are examined. To perform this test, the doctor first applies a gel on the abdomen, then by placing the transducer over it, rotates it on different parts of the abdomen and examines the uterus.

3D Ultrasound

Both the above mentioned types of ultrasound are considered as 2D ultrasound. At the same time, 3D ultrasound is quite different from both these types. In 3D ultrasound, the image of the fetus growing in the womb can be seen. This ultrasound can show the length, width and texture of the body parts of the fetus. Doctors can find out whether the development of the baby in the womb is normal or not with the help of 3D ultrasound.

4D Ultrasound

Like 3D ultrasound, 4D ultrasound can also tell about the physical malformations of the fetus. It can also be used from the first stage of pregnancy. The only difference is that while 3D displays pictures, 4D creates a dynamic video of the fetus. In a way, video of fetal movement in the womb can be seen through 4D ultrasound.

Fetal Echocardiography

This is also a type of ultrasound, which is often done during the second trimester of pregnancy i.e. 18th to 24th week. This test evaluates the baby’s heart in the womb. If there is any problem related to the heart of the fetus, then through this test it can be detected from the womb itself.

Doppler Ultrasound

This type of imaging test examines blood vessels to check normal blood flow in a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. There are many other types of it, which are used for various tests related to blood vessels. Specifically, this test checks for damaged, narrowing, or clogged blood vessels. Apart from this, it is also used to diagnose heart diseases.

Also read why ultrasound should be done during pregnancy.

Why Is Sonography Important In Pregnancy?

Sonography or ultrasound can be done at any stage of pregnancy. Especially, between the 18th to 20th week of pregnancy. During this, the fetus develops to a great extent in the womb, due to which the sex of the baby , its physical structure and development can be understood through ultrasound. Further , why ultrasound is necessary according to each stage in pregnancy is explained below.

1. First trimester of pregnancy (1st week to 12th week)

  • To find out the position of the fetus inside the womb.
  • To confirm whether the embryo is inside the fallopian tube.
  • To find out the number of fetuses i.e. singletons, twins or multiple fetuses pregnancy .
  • To calculate the age of the fetus in the womb.
  • Biophysical Profile means to detect other conditions related to the health of the fetus in the womb.

2. Second Trimester of Pregnancy (Weeks 12th – 24th)

  • During this, ultrasound is especially used between the 18th to 20th week.
  • It examines the development of the body structures of the fetus such as the spine, brain and internal organs and other organs.
  • Also examines the size and location of the mother’s placenta .
  • Information about the sex of the fetus is available.
  1. Third Trimester of Pregnancy (24th – 40th week time)

Ultrasound is done in the third trimester, especially after the 30th week.
It is known whether the baby is growing at a normal rate in the womb or not.
To check the location of the placenta.
It is confirmed that there is no obstruction in the cervix.

Next, we are also telling the benefits of getting ultrasound done during pregnancy.

Benefits Of Getting Ultrasound Done During Pregnancy

There are many benefits of getting an ultrasound done during pregnancy, which you will read below.

  • Fetal Health Detection – Through ultrasound, the development of the baby can be checked during pregnancy. Its results can detect any abnormality like Down syndrome in the child.
  • Monitoring the physical development of the fetus – Ultrasound is beneficial in pregnancy to monitor whether the physical development of the baby in the womb is normal or not.
  • Location of the fetus – Whether the fetus is growing in the mother’s womb or not, it can also be detected through ultrasound. If the embryo develops outside the mother’s womb or in the fallopian tube, then in the medical term it is called Ectopic Pregnancy.
  • Monitoring of the uterus and placenta – Ultrasound is also considered important for monitoring the health of the uterus and placenta of a pregnant woman.
  • Painless and Safe Technique – Not only this, the pregnant woman or the unborn baby does not feel any pain during the ultrasound. During this time the woman does not even need any kind of injection, radiation or incision.
  • Understanding Heart Health – Used during pregnancy to see and hear the heartbeat of the mother as well as the fetus.
  • Seeing the image of the unborn child – Through 3D and 4D ultrasound, parents can see the physical image and form of their unborn child growing in the womb as well as its movements.
  • Know the results immediately – unlike other types of tests, there is no waiting to know the results of the ultrasound. Ultrasound results are seen immediately.

Disadvantages Of Ultrasound In Pregnancy

NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) confirms that ultrasound during pregnancy is a safe and fairly accurate test. This technique is also increasingly used during pregnancy. However, one cannot completely depend on the results of ultrasound, due to which there may be disadvantages of ultrasound in pregnancy, such as:

  • If any abnormality associated with the fetus is detected in the womb, then it is necessary to do other tests to confirm it. For this, some genetic tests like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling can be done.
  • In some cases ultrasound results involving the fetus may be inaccurate.
  • During an ultrasound, a gel-like substance is applied to the abdomen of the pregnant woman. If it penetrates inside the skin of the woman, then there can be damages. However, proper research is needed in this topic.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound can cause problems like anxiety , pain or vaginal bleeding in a pregnant woman.

When and how many times to get sonography done in pregnancy, know this further.

When And How Often Should Ultrasound Be Done During Pregnancy? , When Should Sonography Be Done In Pregnancy?

By the way, it is safe to do ultrasound at any time during pregnancy. However, in the guidelines issued by the Government of India on the use of ultrasonography, it has been told that unlike other countries like Europe or Canada, there are no mandatory guidelines for ultrasound during pregnancy in India. At present, there are no set standards for when and how often ultrasound should be done in India .

At the same time, according to health experts of other countries, the first ultrasound should be done at 8-14 weeks of pregnancy and the second ultrasound at 18-20 weeks. This can detect fetal abnormalities.

Now understand what happens during sonography in pregnancy.

What Happens During Ultrasound?

The process of ultrasound in pregnancy is different. It depends on the type of ultrasound, such as:

  • Abdominal ultrasound – For the ultrasound done through the abdomen, the doctor first asks the pregnant woman to drink water. Then the woman is made to lie on her back. After this, the doctor applies a transparent gel-like cream on the abdomen of the pregnant woman. Then on top of that they move the sonographer scanner in different positions. This allows the pictures inside the abdomen to be transferred to a monitor, which gives information about the conditions inside the womb. This entire process may take approximately 30 minutes.
  • Vaginal ultrasound – If transabdominal ultrasound does not yield accurate results, the pregnant woman can go for a transvaginal ultrasound. For this, doctors do ultrasound through the vagina. For this, first of all, the pregnant woman is made to lie down on her back by wearing a gown. Then a slender ultrasound scanner is placed inside the vagina. This entire process may take approximately 30 minutes.

Read this section to know how pregnant women should prepare for ultrasound.

How To Prepare Yourself For Ultrasound During Pregnancy?

The kind of preparation a pregnant woman should do for an ultrasound depends on the type of ultrasound. If the ultrasound is being done through the abdomen, the pregnant woman will need to fill her bladder. For this, it is advised to drink 2 to 3 glasses of water about 1 hour before the ultrasound. During this time, until the ultrasound is done, the pregnant woman should not even go to the bathroom. Also, wear comfortable and loose clothes during this time.

For vaginal and other types of ultrasound, the pregnant woman is asked not to eat or drink anything for a few hours before the test. The doctors give all the information about this to the pregnant woman in advance.

At the end of the article, it has also been told how repeated ultrasounds affect the baby.

Does Repeated Ultrasound Have Any Effect On The Development Of The Unborn Baby?

Getting an ultrasound done during pregnancy is considered completely safe for the mother and child. Its use does not see any negative consequences on the health of the mother or the baby. There is a lack of research on the effect of repeated ultrasounds during pregnancy on the development of the unborn baby. In such a situation, it would be better to consult a doctor regarding this.

While ultrasound is safe in pregnancy, it is also considered essential in many ways. In this article, along with important information related to when and how often to get sonography done during pregnancy, we have also explained its advantages and disadvantages. Just keep in mind that sonography during pregnancy should always be done in a trusted clinic and under the supervision of an experienced doctor.