Pregnancy and Children

Ultrasound and Pregnancy

Ultrasound and Pregnancy     Ultrasound and Pregnancy

An ultrasound is a common diagnostic procedure that uses sound waves to create a picture of the baby while you are pregnant. The following should help you understand more about ultrasound.

Ultrasound--A Safe and Painless Procedure

An ultrasound is a painless diagnostic procedure that bounces high-frequency sound waves off the baby's body to create a picture. Ultrasounds are used as a standard procedure in pregnancy and can be used to determine if any problems exist.

As part of the procedure a water-soluble gel is applied to your abdomen and a wand-like instrument is positioned over it.  Sound waves are then generated and are bounced back to produce an image of the baby. While there is typically no pain involved, there may be some discomfort from pressure as the sonographer guides the wand on your abdomen.

Ultrasounds are safe and are not the same as an x-ray since an ultrasound uses sound waves and not radiation. Ultrasounds have been used for about 40 years and there has been no evidence that it will be harmful to you or your baby.  However, the the long-term effects of repeated ultrasounds on a fetus are still unknown. Accordingly, please make sure to talk with you health care provider about having an ultrasound and only have an ultrasound completed by a trained professional.

Additional Information

Kids health: Ultrasound

Radiology info: Ultrasound

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