Ultrasounds are a common and safe way to check your baby’s development during pregnancy. This type of imaging uses unique sound waves to create an image of your baby in the womb (uterus). Ultrasounds are considered a routine part of prenatal care in most countries and are often used to help determine due dates, assess fetal growth and development, and screen for certain birth defects. At Woodlands OBGYN Associates, our team of professionals will encourage you to consider ultrasounds at different parts of your pregnancy.
Ultrasounds to determine if you are having a boy or a girl
Some women choose to have an ultrasound at around 20 weeks of pregnancy to find out the sex of their baby, but this is not considered medically necessary. You do not have to have ultrasounds done for this reason if you choose not to. However, there are times your doctor at Woodlands OBGYN Associates may recommend that you have ultrasounds performed. This is typically done to help in measuring the size of the fetus to ensure proper growth or to look for any signs of developmental problems that need to be considered. Ultrasounds have become an important tool for diagnosing common pregnancy concerns, including:
- Down’s syndrome
- Patau’s syndrome
- Edwards’ syndrome
- Spina bifida
- Heart abnormalities
In some instances, if a defect or abnormality has been found, further testing may be performed. For example, women who have a higher risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome may want to ask about non-invasive prenatal testing, which may include a sample of amniotic fluid or a blood sample to diagnose certain conditions of the baby.
Are ultrasounds safe and appropriate?
While ultrasounds are generally considered safe, there is a very small risk of causing tissue damage. This is why ultrasonographers take great care to limit the amount of time your baby is exposed to ultrasound waves. You should discuss any concerns you have regarding having an ultrasound with your healthcare provider before making a decision.
Learn more about ultrasound imaging during this exciting time!
If you have any additional questions or concerns about ultrasounds during pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider at Woodlands OBGYN Associates of The Woodlands, TX, by calling 281-364-9898.