Information About Ultrasonography
Your physician has requested that you have an ultrasound examination of your pregnancy. This information sheet will answer important questions that you might have.
- IS ULTRASOUND SAFE?
- There has been extensive evaluation of the safety of ultrasound over the course of many years. There is no evidence that diagnostic ultrasound causes harm to either the mother or the fetus.
- WHAT ARE SOME EXAM TYPES?
- A basic or standard sonogram provides information concerning placenta location, fetal position, twin pregnancies, gestational age, fetal growth, and the possible presence of birth defects. A fetal anatomical or detailed sonogram is a more extensive ultrasound providing not only the information of a basic scan, but in addition, more specific evaluation for fetal abnormalities. A vaginal sonogram, in which a special ultrasound instrument, about the thickness of a tampon, is inserted into the vagina, is occasionally used to provide more detailed views of the uterus, ovaries or portions of the fetus that are low in the pelvis. This may be used to see the heartbeat or the location of a very early pregnancy, or to evaluate the placenta or birth canal. As with other ultrasound exams, the procedure is safe. It is generally less uncomfortable than a pap smear.
- MAY I GET A PHOTO OR A CD OF MY EXAM?
- Your sonographer may offer you a photo of your baby. If we are able, we will make a CD containing images and video clips of your ultrasound exam. This recording does not increase the exam time or the exposure of your baby to ultrasound. Unfortunately, if there is any malfunction in the recording process, time does not permit us to redo the imaging. A photo or a CD will not be made for each ultrasound.
- WILL I AUTOMATICALLY GET A 3D ULTRASOUND PICTURE TO TAKE HOME?
- The ultrasound machines at DCMFMCC are very specialized and are able to produce 3D images. Every attempt will be made to get a 3D image for you to take home, however due to your baby's gestational age and/or position a 3D image may not be possible to obtain. While ultrasounds are first and foremost medical tests we understand what an exciting time this is for you and your family and you will get an image of your baby to take home. It is OK for you to ask your sonographer for a picture if one is not offered.
- DOES A NORMAL ULTRASOUND PROVE THAT MY BABY WILL HAVE NO ABNORMALITIES?
- While a sonogram will detect many abnormalities, it is not 100% for fetal malformations. Despite a normal interpretation of the ultrasound, some babies may be born with abnormalities not identified by the ultrasound.
You should realize that even with a detailed sonogram, the examiner may still be unable to find fetal abnormalities which are later discovered after birth. Thus, although ultrasonography is a very helpful diagnostic tool, it should not be considered as absolute proof of the absence of fetal defects.
- WHAT IS ULTRASOUND AND WHAT CAN IT SHOW ABOUT MY PREGNANCY?
- Ultrasound Uses the same principle as sonar. Sound waves (far beyond the range of hearing) from the ultrasound probe bounce off your uterus and your developing baby producing echoes which a computer converts into detailed images.