Ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology

Nowadays, the examination of a person using ultrasound waves has become so widely applicable that we can no longer imagine how we did without it before. Most often this is the primary method of examination and the establishment of a final or primary diagnosis. Sometimes this is the only examination method. Today, ultrasound devices are at such a high stage of development that they can not only detect diseases and their localization, but also influence pathology, that is, treat them.

Only highly qualified doctors – diagnosticians work with ultrasound devices. And the ultrasound apparatus itself is as harmless as possible for the examined person. Especially the issue of safety worries young mothers, because we are talking not about one, but two people at once. Therefore, medicine in this case offers high-precision safe ultrasound diagnostic devices in obstetrics and gynecology. The new equipment has a number of additional functions and significantly expands the possibilities of extensive diagnostics. During the pregnancy monitoring program or completely independently of it, you can undergo a high-quality ultrasound examination. You can undergo this detailed examination with or without a doctor’s referral.  

Thanks to such a high-precision ultrasound device – diagnostics in obstetrics, the obstetrician – gynecologist has the opportunity to examine in detail all organs of the developing fetus. This aims to timely identify various pathologies that, thanks to the level of modern medicine, can be influenced, or to reassure parents that no pathologies have been identified. Also, ultrasound in obstetrics allows you to maintain a successful pregnancy, set the timing of pregnancy, childbirth, the number of fetuses, the location of the fetus and much more.

Ultrasound diagnostics in obstetrics and gynecology is permissible from the moment of the first signals that pregnancy has occurred, that is, from 5 to 6 weeks from the first day of the beginning of the last menstruation.

At the legislative level, ultrasound diagnostics in obstetrics should be performed three times during pregnancy. The first is the first trimester, that is, the eleventh – thirteenth week, the second is the second trimester, that is, from the twentieth to twenty-second weeks, and the third time is the last, third trimester, which falls on 32-34 weeks of pregnancy. The number of ultrasound examinations in obstetrics may increase with visible pathologies or suspicions that they may develop.

According to the World Health Organization, ultrasound diagnostics in obstetrics is the most important method of monitoring a developing fetus and does not affect it, so this method should not be afraid or avoided.

What determines ultrasound in obstetrics in each trimester of pregnancy

First trimester

• Confirmation of the present pregnancy, as well as the establishment of its term. One of the main tasks of early diagnosis is to determine the location of the released fertilized egg: in the uterine cavity or outside the uterus, then we are talking about a pathological pregnancy, which must be interrupted to save the woman’s life.  

• An interesting function of ultrasound examination of a pregnant woman is to determine the number of developing fetuses, as well as their gender.

• During the embryonic stage, an ultrasound examiner can also confirm the viability of the embryo.

• Starting from the first day of the end of the previous menstrual cycle, it is possible to determine the gestational age. The earliest dates are determined by establishing the size of the fetal sac, and later by establishing the length from the coccyx to the crown.

• At the same time, the presence of a fertilized egg in the uterine cavity does not exclude the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. In very rare cases, in the presence of a normal uterine pregnancy, an ectopic is also present, in which the fetal sac is in the tube. With the help of ultrasound examination, such a pathology should be excluded or detected in time. The presence of more than one fetus is detected as early as the fifth week of pregnancy. Moreover, it is this week that the probability of a spontaneous miscarriage of the second or third embryo arises. Such information does not need to be known to the mother, but such a miscarriage can lead to curettage of a viable fetus, therefore, a gynecologist should know about this threat.

• With the help of ultrasound, the fact of heartbeat is recorded, which is the first registration of a new life, fetal vitality.

Second trimester

• Clarification of the gestational age for several factors. Determination of the number of babies. Diagnosis of pathological abnormalities. Determination of the localization of the placenta.

• Ultrasound examination will also help to identify volumetric neoplasms in the mother’s pelvic cavity, which can adversely affect the course of pregnancy and childbirth.

• At this stage, the main parameters by which the gestational age is determined are the size of the head, the circumference of the abdomen and the length of the hip bone. Moreover, in the presence of multiple pregnancies, detailed diagnostics are carried out by each fetus, and individually, regardless of the indicators of one baby, including the establishment of the gestational age, the number of fetal sacs, and placentas.

• If there is a floating placenta, regular monitoring is necessary to determine its location just before delivery.

Third trimester

• With the help of ultrasound examination, a delay in the growth and development of the fetus is revealed, and previously unknown anomalies of the child are confirmed. The exact position of the fetus or presentation , the location of the placenta is determined . The amount of amniotic fluid is estimated. Determination of developmental anomalies at this stage plays a decisive role in determining the tactics of labor management. For example, the identification of such pathologies as hernias of various localization, hydrocephalus are one hundred percent indications for a cesarean section.

• Determination of fetal pathology is also important for the psychological preparation of the family for the birth of a child with defects

• Involvement of a medical team at the time of delivery for urgent care and possible resuscitation of a newborn with such congenital defects as a hernia of the diaphragm, pathology of the interventricular septum

• Determination of the position of the fetus and presentation before childbirth will allow you to choose the right tactics of labor management

• Determination of the amount of amniotic fluid, amniotic fluid. A small and large amount of water is closely related to abnormalities in the development of the fetus.

Use in an ultrasound system in 3D format

The use of real-time ultrasound allows you to see the baby in motion. Modern ultrasound systems in obstetrics, operating on the Doppler principle , assess the state of blood circulation in the whole uterine -placental system of the fetus and mother

Types of ultrasound examination in obstetrics

There are two types of this research:

Transabdominal (sensors are located outside the abdominal wall)

Transvaginal (a special sensor is inserted into the vagina)

Preparation for ultrasound examination in obstetrics and gynecology is not required. Remember that in the presence of serious pathologies, ultrasound examination is not the only method for diagnosing and determining treatment tactics. Be sure to visit a specialist – a gynecologist.

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