|Ultrasound involves the use of sound waves to pass inside a mother's body to create a picture of the fetus and uterus. Ultrasound does not involve any radiation exposure and is safe in pregnancy. Ultrasound can be used to determine the age, size, and anatomy of the fetus as well as look at the mother's uterus and cervix.
Three-dimensional and four-dimensional ultrasounds
Three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) ultrasounds are both sophisticated technologies that produce a more life-like image of the infant. The difference between the two is that 3D images are still photographs, while 4D images show the baby moving.
Perinatologists in Bridgeport Hospital's Antenatal Testing Unit use these advanced images as an addition to standard ultrasound (2D) when the baby is being evaluated in the womb.
For example, 3D/4D ultrasounds give a better image of the baby’s features when a perinatologist is concerned about abnormalities of the lip, hands or feet. These more detailed images may also help you understand what the physician is seeing.
Level II or Targeted Ultrasound
Level II or Targeted Ultrasound involves the use of sophisticated ultrasound equipment along with specially trained physicians to obtain a detailed look at fetal anatomy. Targeted Ultrasound is recommended when there is an increased risk of birth defects in the fetus either due to previous pregnancy history, family history, medical complications, or advanced maternal age.
Vaginal Sonography is a form of ultrasound in which a vaginal probe is inserted into a woman's vagina and is similar to an internal pelvic examination. This is safe to perform in pregnancy and can provide detailed information concerning early (less than 12 weeks) pregnancies. It is also used to measure a woman's cervix to look for signs of preterm labor.
Biophysical Profile involves using ultrasound to look at the health of the fetus. It is known that fetuses that are getting enough oxygen and nutrition through the placenta will be active and have a normal amount of amniotic fluid surrounding them. A biophysical profile looks at the activity of the fetus, body movements, breathing movements, fetal tone, and amniotic fluid volume.
Doppler Ultrasound uses sound waves to look at blood flow through the fetal or maternal blood vessels. This is useful in cases where the fetus may not be growing normally or may be anemic.
Color-Flow Doppler Ultrasound
Color-Flow Doppler Ultrasound uses specialized ultrasound technology to look at blood flow through fetal organs and can be helpful to better see certain organs and look at blood flow.
Nuchal Translucency Scan (First trimester)
This ultrasound measures the amount of fluid at the back of your baby's neck. The test can determine
- whether you are definitely pregnant
- how many babies you are expecting
- how many weeks pregnant you are
- whether there are any obvious major abnormalities present at this time
- the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, especially Down’s syndrome
The test itself does not carry any risk to the mother or the baby.