Ultrasound in Women


It has been estimated in some countries that as many as 90-100% of women seeking obstetric care will have at least one ultrasound during pregnancy.
Utility of ultrasound in pregnancy is for the following

  1. Estimation of the age of the fetus
  2. Evaluation of foetal growth
  3. Cause of vaginal bleeding in pregnancy
  4. Determination of foetal presentation when clinically inconclusive.
  5. Suspected multiple pregnancies
  6. Adjunct to amniocentesis
  7. Significant uterine size/clinical dates discrepancy.
  8. Pelvic mass detected clinically
  9. Ovarian follicular studies
  10. Adjunct to special procedures
  11. Suspected foetal death
  12. Suspected uterine abnormality
  13. IUCD location with pregnancy
  14. Placental localization
  15. Biophysical profile for foetal well being after 28 weeks gestation
  16. Suspected foetal anomalies (abnormal AFP levels)
  17. Follow up of foetal anamolies
  18. Estimated foetal weight in PROM
  19. Color Doppler studies for foetal well being

A more detailed ultrasound exam may be used to diagnose defects of the fetal head, spine, chest, and limbs, as well as some heart defects. Ultrasound may also be used along with other special tests to detect problems.

Doppler ultrasound is used in pregnancy to monitor the fetal heart rate before or during labour. The fetal heartbeat can indicate the well-being of the baby. Doppler ultrasound is also used to measure the flow of the blood within the uterus, fetus, and umbilical cord, which connects the fetus and the placenta.

Sometimes vaginal ultrasound is used during pregnancy to find the cause of bleeding or pain, to bleeding or pain, to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy (in which the fertilised egg has began to grow in a place other than inside the uterus, such as in a fallopian tube), or to find certain type of birth defects in the fetus early in pregnancy.

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