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Obstetric ultrasound, also known as prenatal or pregnancy ultrasound, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of a developing embryo or fetus. Your doctor will use information from obstetric ultrasounds to track pregnancy progress, gestational age and help predict delivery dates. During an obstetric ultrasound, you will be on a bed, usually on your back. You may be asked to change position during your scan. Changing position helps move your organs and the fetus into a better position so the sonographer can capture high-quality images. If you have an Alberta Health Care card or valid health care card from out of province, there is no cost for an obstetric ultrasound except in Quebec.
An obstetric ultrasound scan lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes. If you have multiple fetuses, the exam will take longer, usually about 90 minutes. One ificant other is welcome to you in the room for the entire duration of the exam. Your plus-one can be anyone important in your life who you want to share the experience with, such as your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, sister, etc. If you have more family who would like to attend the scan, our sonographers are willing to bring them into the room near the end of the exam to show them images of the baby.
However, we do not allow more than one person in the room for the entire duration of the exam. This policy allows us to support our employees by creating a comfortable work environment where they can perform their duties to the best of their abilities. As a patient, you must remember that any obstetrical evaluation is still a medical exam.
Occasionally, expecting mothers will bring their young children to the appointment, as they are not able to find a sitter. While we allow children in the exam room, we ask that you bring toys or activities to When should you have your dating ultrasound them occupied.
We supply colouring books and crayons, but your child might prefer a game or movie on a tablet or iPad. Our goal is to create a stress-free environment for our employees as well as our expecting mothers. for the most up-to-date information. Pregnancy is both an exciting and stressful journey, and you have lots of questions.
We ask that you save your questions for the sonographer until the end of the exam. Your sonographer will answer any questions within their scope of responsibility, but the majority will likely need to be answered later by your referring doctor. While this may seem insensitive, please understand there are many reasons this policy is in place:. Please help us respect the relationship you have with your doctor, and allow our staff members to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
After your exam is complete, our sonographer will ask if you would like any images sonograms from the exam. We encourage patients to take both digital and physical copies of their ultrasound photos. Women with a multiple pregnancy require more frequent checkups and ultrasounds to monitor health, growth, and fetal development. The only way to confirm a multiple pregnancy is with ultrasound When should you have your dating ultrasound. Multiples may not be detected in the first trimester.
Your sonographer may not detect a second embryo due to fetal positioning or a lack of development. After the week mark, during the second trimester, a second fetus will typically be easily identifiable on an ultrasound. Naturally, it makes sense to check for a second heartbeat to confirm a second embryo.
Unfortunately, many variables impact the detection of a second heartbeat. For example:. It is important to understand the impact multiple fetuses have on ultrasound scan times. Insight Medical Imaging books minute time slots for each obstetrical ultrasound. If you are having twins, that time frame doubles to a minute time slot. If you have triplets, we will set aside minutes for your exam. However, just because we book you in for 45, 90, or minutes does not mean your exam will take that long. Exam time varies ificantly from patient to patient. To date, the consensus is that diagnostic ultrasound has shown no harmful side effects to pregnant mothers or their fetuses Joy et al.
The procedure is non-invasive and immediate and does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation. While studies have been conducted for decades on the biological, mechanical, and thermal effects of high-frequency sound waves used in ultrasound imaging, no clinically ificant findings impacting human health have been demonstrated Abramowicz, Therefore, we do not recommend ultrasound imaging unless there is a medical goal or diagnostic purpose.
As a precaution, we ensure our sonographers always use the minimum acoustic power needed to generate optimum images for diagnosis. Dating ultrasound scans, also known as early ultrasounds, are typically the first type of obstetric evaluation during pregnancy. These ultrasound scans are usually performed between 7 and 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The goal of a dating ultrasound is to establish the gestational age of the pregnancy. Our sonographer will calculate gestational age by measuring the fetus from crown head to rump buttocks. Once your doctor establishes your pregnancy timeline, they can provide more accurate prenatal care instructions.
These scans also provide expecting couples with an approximate due date that is, as the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada states, usually accurate to within five days. Sonographers can perform dating ultrasounds with an external transabdominal or internal transvaginal transducer.
There are numerous factors, such as body build, that impact transducer selection; however, the most important factor is the size of the embryo. Physicians typically order a dating ultrasound around the 7- to week mark. If your appointment is around the 7-week mark, there is a chance the developing embryo might be too small to see with an external transabdominal probe. In this situation, our sonographers ask for permission to perform a transvaginal internal scan. If permission is granted, the sonographer will hand you an ultrasound wand that you may gently insert into your vagina.
We do our best to make this experience as comfortable as possible. While the majority of our sonographers are female, we are an equal-opportunity employer that hires sonographers of both genders. Should you require a transvaginal examination and your sonographer is male, we ensure a female colleague is in the room with you for the duration of the internal scan. Ultrasound scans performed within the 7- to week period provide the highest due date accuracy, as the fetus is in the best position for measuring. The fetus is in the most linear position during this time frame, growing rapidly but unable to twist or alter its body position ificantly.
Therefore, an ultrasound during this period provides the most accurate crown-to-rump measurement for predicting delivery. But how do they choose between the two methods? When should you have your dating ultrasound people are given conflicting delivery dates. While you might think the logical solution is to rely on the most recent estimate, the opposite is true. Ultrasound examinations during the 7- to week time frame are the most accurate, to within five days. Scans from the to week period are accurate within 10 days, and anything past the week mark is considered unreliable.
After 22 weeks, the gestational age of a fetus is too hard to predict because it starts showing individual growth potential. Differences in development and size can skew gestational age estimates by as much as two or three weeks.
FTS is a test for chromosome conditions and congenital disabilities. It is available to all women between 11 and 13 weeks plus six days of pregnancy. With FTS, two measurements are used, together with your age, to estimate your chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or trisomy The first measurement is the nuchal translucency NT measurement, taken by ultrasound, and the second is a blood test.
NT ultrasound exams are performed between 11 weeks and 13 weeks plus six days of pregnancy. During an NT exam, your sonographer will measure the fluid at the back of the Fetuses neck called nuchal translucency. All Fetuses have some fluid here. Fetuses with Down syndrome are more likely to have an increased amount of fluid. FTS has an 85 to 90 percent detection rate.
Therefore, the FTS exam will identify an increased risk of Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or trisomy 13 in 85 to 90 percent of actual cases Loncar et al. Your doctor will provide a personal risk estimate that tells you how likely it is that your pregnancy will be affected by Down syndrome, trisomy 13, or trisomy Your FTS help your doctor decide on the next course of action. Together, you may opt for additional prenatal testing, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling CVS. Most women receive reassuring and do not need further testing, other than the routine week anatomy scan offered to everyone.
Women who receive a risk result indicating that their fetus is at an increased risk for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or trisomy 13 are offered the option of having a diagnostic test, such as amniocentesis. Laboratory technicians look at the chromosomes within these cells to determine whether the baby has a chromosome condition. These procedures are not routinely offered to all women, as they increase the risk of miscarriage. Most women undergoing amniocentesis or CVS do not have complications following the procedure and receive reassuring chromosome.
Anatomy ultrasounds happen during the second trimester, usually around the to week mark. Sometimes these scans are referred to as a level-two ultrasound or the week anatomy scan. The anatomy scan is usually the most memorable obstetric ultrasound for parents because it is the first time they get to see their baby.
When examining anatomy, the sonographer will look at the brain, face, abdomen kidneys, stomach, bladder, liverlungs, diaphragm, spine, sexual organs, and all four heart chambers. If your sonographer can identify sex organs at your anatomy scan, it is highly likely that they can tell you the gender of your baby. Please inform the sonographer at the beginning of the exam if you do or do not want to learn the potential gender of your baby.
During this scan, the sonographer is looking for critical medical information such as heart rate, brain development, spinal structure, etc. Sometimes fetal genitalia cannot be seen during an anatomy scan due to body position.
If the fetus has its legs crossed or is facing away from the abdomen, it can be challenging to determine the gender. Depending on how long the medical portion of your scan takes, our sonographers may be able to work with you to get the fetus into a better position to estimate gender. If there is enough time left after gathering the medical images needed by the radiologist, we may give patients a juice box or snack and ask them to walk around the clinic.When should you have your dating ultrasound
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