More commonly known as a sonogrophy, obstetrical ultrasound is a medical procedure that involves exposing a part of the body to sound waves at high frequencies. This then produces images of the internal structures and organs of the body. The procedure is noninvasive in nature. The fact that these images are captured in real time and show up the smallest of details including blood flowing through blood vessels all contribute to make it a very popular medical procedure. Obstetrics ultrasound deals primarily with the imaging of an embryo or fetus within a mother’s uterus and may also include a Doppler ultrasound study as part of the procedure. Among the many uses of an obstetrical ultrasound, it is commonly used to detect the presence of a living embryo or fetus as well as identifying the age of the pregnancy term and evaluating the position of the fetus and the placenta. It also helps substantially in the diagnoses of all possible congenital abnormalities of the fetus.
Obstetrical ultrasound imaging runs on the very same principles that help bats and ships navigate. They emit high frequency sound waves towards a particular object and thus reflect back the image of the object. The image id thus captured by the device. The returning reflected waves will help define details of the object such as its dimensions and depth and even identify whether the object is a solid mass or a liquid one. When undergoing an obstetrics ultrasound, the patient will be required to lie face up on the examination table. This examination table will be able to tilt or move to a certain degree. A gel like substance is then applied over the belly just around the uterus and the transducer is then held firmly against the skin to generate the images that appear on a computer screen attached to the machine. The movement of the fetus or embryo will be easily visible on the viewing screen as well.
Since the procedure requires the removal of clothing around the lower abdominal area, one should keep in mind the kind of clothing she wears to an obstetrical ultrasound. Depending on the overall age of the pregnancy, your doctor may require you undergo the test with a full bladder. The entire procedure is usually painless and causes no health problems in addition to the advantage of being able to perform them repeatedly. The entire procedure should take no longer than 30 minutes.