Ultrasonography is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used for visualizing the embryo or foetus in the mother's uterus (womb). Unlike an X-ray, sonography uses sound waves to produce a moving picture of the foetus. This picture is generated from an instrument that is placed either on the mother's abdomen or on the vagina. This is done to get all the possible information regarding the health of the mother and foetus, the progress of pregnancy and any further information on the baby. Under Ultrasonography, a variety of tests and scans are done which reveals vital information about the growth and development of the foetus. They include:
1) Nuchal translucency scan
- Determine the pregnancy dating
- Assess risk for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities
- Diagnose multiple pregnancy
- Diagnose certain foetal structural anomalies
- Diagnose early pregnancy failure
2) Targeted imaging for fetal anomalies (TIFA) scan
This scan is usually done between 18-23 weeks. A detailed analysis of the foetus is done during this scan where each and every part of the foetus is imaged. In case of any abnormality, a medicine specialist will discuss further options with the couple.
3) Interval growth scan
Usually done between 28-30 weeks, this scan assesses the foetal growth in women who have developed or who are at a potential risk of developing hypertension or diabetes during pregnancy.
4) Foetal well being scan
This scan is done between 34-36 weeks to assess the well being of the foetus by assessing the blood flow to the placenta and foetus by color Doppler Ultrasonography.
5) Fetal Echocardiography
A detailed foetal Echocardiography scan is recommended in women with family history of heart abnormalities or if a previous child is affected by the same. The scan is also required for women who are under the category of increased nuchal translucency.