Ultrasound (also known as a sonogram) is a noninvasive and painless type of medical imaging that uses sound waves to produce pictures of organs and structures inside the body.
We use ultrasound to assess a baby's development during pregnancy. We may also use a type of ultrasound called a hysterosonogram to diagnose and monitor certain medical conditions associated with the reproductive organs.
Below is a list of the scans we recommend at each stage of your pregnancy.
|Scan||Stage of pregnancy||Indication|
|Transvaginal ultrasound, or known just as vaginal ultrasound||First trimester, around 6-8 weeks||- Confirms the pregnancy and checks your baby's heartbeat.|
- Determines your due date based on the baby's measurements and movements.
- Confirms the number of fetuses.
It can rule out problems such as an ectopic pregnancy, and also show problems with the cervix, such as "short cervix" which could increase the chances of early delivery. The test may need to be repeated in women who have complications during pregnancy, such as pain or bleeding.
|Nuchal translucency (NT) test||First trimester, around 11-13.5 weeks||- Evaluates the risk of your baby having chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome, trisomy 18 or certain heart defects.|
Talk to your obstetrician about whether he or she recommends nuchal translucency testing for you.
|Transabdominal anatomy scan||Second trimester, around 18-20 weeks||- Checks that your baby and its organs are developing properly.|
This scan also identifies the sex of your baby.
|Ultrasound||Third trimester||Many women do not need an ultrasound in their third trimester. However, it may be recommended for the following reasons:|
- Monitor the baby's growth more closely in mothers aged over 35.
- Check conditions such as low levels of amniotic fluid, bleeding or preterm contractions.
|Biophysical profile||Third trimester, last few weeks||Fetal well-being - checks for decreased fetal movement, or is also used when the mother has passed her due date.|
Physicians for Women also offers in-house hysterosonography (also known as sonohysterography), which is used to diagnose certain conditions associated with the uterus. Though a hysterosonogram scan is usually done at an imaging center or hospital, we perform them in our office.
A hysterosonogram can help to identify the causes of problems like abnormal bleeding, repeated miscarriages, or sometimes infertility.
This imaging technique detects abnormalities in the uterine cavity - such as an abnormal shape or structure, abnormal growths (like polyps or fibroids), endometrial adhesions (scarring), or congenital defects.
The procedure is minimally invasive. Your physician will inject sterile saline (salt water) into the uterus through a thin tube called a catheter. The saline enlarges the uterine area, and we'll use ultrasound to produce images of the uterine cavity.
Please click here for more information on hysterosonograms.