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Ultrasound Scans During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Ultrasound Scans

What is ultrasound ?

Ultrasound was first used during the Second World War to detect submarines. In a pregnant woman, sound waves are directed to the fetus and a picture of the fetus appears on the computer screen. The picture may not give clarity for you but an expert can interpret it.  This is usually performed in the clinics or hospitals by a doctor who is specialized in radiology or can be done by your Gynecologist/Obstetrician.

There are no risks involved in it and it does not harm the baby’s growth or development.

The purpose of asking for pregnancy ultrasound can be:
  1. To confirm an early pregnancy. .
  2. To rule out any ectopic pregnancy (This is usually done in early pregnancy).
  3. To check for twins/multiple pregnancy.
  4. To determine due date.
  5. To determine foetal position.
  6. To identify the placenta location
  7. To evaluate the foetal growth.
  8. To determine the amniotic fluid levels around the baby.
Abdominal ultrasound examination

This test requires a full bladder. Drink for about 1 liter of water before the test and do not urinate until the test is completed. The doctor will ask you to lie down and jelly is applied on your abdomen for the lubrication that makes the device move easily which improves sound waves transmission. Doctor examines your abdomen for its shape, size, and fetus movements.  You urge to pee as soon as the test is finished. The reports may be available in few minutes.   

Transvaginal Ultrasound (Internal vaginal examination)

In some cases, an internal vaginal examination may be required in early pregnancy, at its end, or some during the time. A full bladder is not required for transvaginal ultrasound examination. It is done in early pregnancy to confirm the pregnancy and to find out any abnormalities of the vaginal, pelvis, or cervix. It does not harm the baby. It is also done at the end of pregnancy to check for the ripeness of the cervix that is getting ready for the labor.

When the transvaginal ultrasound test is being carried out, try to relax and breathe slowly through your mouth and relax your pelvic as you do when passing urine.


Doppler Ultrasound test is done in addition to the routine ultrasound scan in which it helps the doctor to evaluate the blood flow to the baby through arteries and veins in any part of the body. Doppler ultrasound shows blocked flow of blood in the major arteries of the neck that may cause a stroke. This doppler ultrasound scan can also reveal blood clots in leg veins.

A transducer (handheld instrument) is passed slightly over the skin; it sends and receives sound waves through a microphone. When there is no blood flow, the pitch does not change, if there is any, blood cells causes a change in pitch of the reflected sound waves. A computer gives the graphs or pictures of the flow of blood through the blood vessels.

These pictures or graphs can be saved for further review and/or evaluation.

Find below the other routine tests that are performed during pregnancy


DFMC (Daily Foetal Movement Count)




CVS or Chorionic Villus Sampling