For many expectant moms, the 20-week ultrasound is the highlight of the pregnancy, giving a peak inside the womb to see the developing baby. While these appointments are fun, ultrasound has a much more valuable role as a diagnostic tool, both for pregnant women and for women with other health concerns. Dr. Kompal Gadh at the Advanced OBGYN Institute, have ultrasound equipment available to patients in Weston and Pembroke Pines, Florida, giving them excellent insight into the overall health and wellness of their patients.
Ultrasound creates pictures of structures within the body using sound waves. When the sound waves bounce off of the structures in the body, the responder collects them and maps out a picture of what is inside the body. This can allow Dr. Gadh to see a developing baby, look for fibroids, see structures of the reproductive system, and otherwise diagnose conditions that require seeing inside the body.
Dr. Gadh typically recommends an ultrasound around 20 weeks gestation, but if the baby appears to be developing normally, it's not necessarily a required exam.
Even though ultrasound is minimally invasive and can help screen for a number of congenital defects that might help the birth team provide appropriate care, some women opt not to have ultrasound.
The genital structures in a baby are well developed by about week 16, so the ultrasound technician may be able to determine the gender. However, seeing these structures requires proper positioning of the baby, and sometimes crossed legs or arms prevent determining the gender. Revealing the gender is a perk of an ultrasound, but not the primary goal.
Most ultrasounds on expectant moms and women who need ultrasounds to diagnose conditions are performed on the abdomen. A warm gel is placed on the skin, then a transponder is gently rubbed across the tummy to gather the pictures. Sometimes the ultrasound technician will need to press firmly to gather the required pictures, but the procedure shouldn't hurt.
For women experiencing complications early in pregnancy, the transvaginal ultrasound may be needed to accurately see the baby. This involves placing the transponder into the vaginal canal, rather than on the abdomen.
For young women who suspect they may have breast tumors, a breast ultrasound may be the first type of test done. Because ultrasound uses no radiation, and because women under the age of 30 have very dense breasts, it is sometimes a better first test than a mammogram for women who feel lumps in their self breast examinations. For more information about this and other uses of ultrasound technology, schedule an appointment with the Advanced OBGYN Institute.
At Advanced OB / GYN Institute, we accept most major insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your provider listed.
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