What Is Ultrasound?
How Is Ultrasound Used During Pregnancy?
- The number of fetuses
- The age of the fetus
- The size of the fetus and rate of growth
- The heart rate, breathing, position, and movement of the fetus
- The location of the placenta
- The amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus
- Certain types of birth defects, including some that affect the heart, head, chest, spine, and limbs
- Detect an ectopic pregnancy
- Determine the cause of bleeding or pain
- Assess the length of the cervix if there is concern that it is short
- Detect certain birth defects early in the pregnancy
What Happens During an Ultrasound Exam?
Are There Any Risks Associated With Ultrasound?
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Prenatal care and tests. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/prenatal-care-tests.html. Updated September 27, 2010. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Prenatal ultrasound testing. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 20, 2014. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Ultrasound exams. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Ultrasound-Exams. Updated September 2013. Accessed December 12, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/12/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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