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Ultrasound (also called sonogram) uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of interior structures of the body. Ultrasound is used in obstetrics to evaluate your baby’s health and development and can offer diagnostic information that enables your doctor to provide better care for you and your baby.
Most women will undergo an ultrasound during the second trimester of their pregnancy (between 20 and 22 weeks). While there are over 20 indications for ultrasound use in obstetrics, the most common include:
  • Checking your baby’s age and development (helps determine a due date)
  • Evaluating your baby’s heartbeat, muscle tone, and movement
  • Checking to see if you are pregnant with one baby or multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • Screening for birth defects like spina bifida or heart problems
  • Assessing for pregnancy complications
  • Examining your uterus and placenta
  • Augmenting other prenatal tests
All ultrasounds use a tool called a transducer that uses sound waves to produce images on a computer screen. The most common kind of ultrasound used in pregnancy is transabdominal where you lay on your back, your belly is coated with a thin layer of gel (to help the sound waves more easily and create a better picture), and a transducer is moved across various sections of your belly.
Your doctor may use these specific kinds of ultrasound to get more information to guide your prenatal care:
  • Doppler ultrasound – used frequently throughout pregnancy to check your baby’s heartbeat and measure blood flow in the umbilical cord.
  • 3-D ultrasound – used to evaluate the growth and development of your baby’s organs or to check for problems in your uterus. 3-D takes thousands of pictures at one time to produce a high-level image.
  • 4-D ultrasound – has imagery comparable to 3-D imagery, but also shows movement in a video.
Ultrasound has been used for more than 30 years and no dangerous risks have been identified. It is considered very safe for you and your baby when performed by a qualified health care provider. Mid Dakota Clinic offers the highest-quality ultrasound services in the area. Each ultrasound study is read by a qualified physician specialist in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. The ultrasound department at Mid Dakota Clinic Center For Women is accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine and all members of our ultrasound technical staff are registered in their areas of specialty by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).


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