What is Sonography OR Ultrasound

Sonography is a safe and sound as well as quick imaging technique. It is non-invasive and painless, requires no contrast media and no special patient preparation. Sonography is used widely by radiologists, cardiologists and obstetricians. In recent years only sonography emerged in the field of emergency medicine.

Sonography is a technology that makes it possible to take a peak at the growing fetus. Sound waves are bounced off the baby to create a image without any of the potentially harmful effects often associated with x-rays.
Sonography comes handy for the following reasons:

  • Sonography lets the doctor see if the size of the baby matches what would be expected if the calculated due date is on target.
  • With a sonography, the doctor can see if a baby is too large or too small for his or her age, which could indicate a problem.
  • Sonography can confirm or cancel suspicious of twins, triplets, or more.
  • Sonography allows doctors to check the location of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid in the womb or uterus, and the general health of the baby. It can also determine the reason for vaginal bleeding. Sonography is also used for determination of the health of a fetus when a heartbeat has not been detected by the fourteenth week or if there has been no fetal movement by the twenty second week.
  • With sonography, doctors are actually able to see the baby’s organs and central nervous system.
  • Without the use of sonography to guide the procedures, tests such as amniocentesis would be far too risky.
  • Sonography can show the position of the baby before birth. And if the baby is overdue, sonography can check its size.

The best part about a sonography is that it is so easy, painless as well as quick. During early stages of pregnancy, you have to drink plenty of water before the process undertaken so that sound waves travels easily through the fluid in your bladder. To begin the sonography, you will lie on your back or side on the examination table and expose the lower part of abdomen. Next, the doctor or sonographer will apply water soluble gel which is an odorless to your skin. This gel makes it easier for sound waves to travel through your body. This gel will be sticky, but easily you can wipe off at the end of the examination.

After the application of this gel, the sonographer will move the transducer over your abdomen. As the sound waves come out from the transducer and receive echoes, they are transmitted to the computer and displayed immediately the image on a screen that these images looks like a television monitor.

With some help, you can see the first images of your baby. In the early stages of pregnancy, you may be able to see only the heartbeat, the curve of the spine, and the legs, arms, and head. After certain period, you can even see that the baby is sucking the thumb. Sometimes, you can also see the genitals and you will get an idea about the sex of your baby, whether it is a male or female. Selected images can be saved on videotape, film, paper or in a computerized format to be seen later by your doctor’s help. Because sonography uses sound waves instead of radiation, it is a safety way to assess your baby’s well being.

Thus, there will be no side effects known from sonography imaging, and it is not necessary to take any special precautions following your examination.