The ultrasound has long been used as the primary method of monitoring and examining a fetus. It is safe, non-invasive, and incredibly beneficial. It is an indispensable tool for virtually every OB/GYN and plays a crucial role in caring for virtually every pregnant woman.
Confirm Pregnancy and Determine Gestational Age
One of the primary reasons for an early ultrasound is to confirm that a woman is indeed pregnant. An ultrasound is a fast and effective way to rule out a false pregnancy and to confirm that there is, in fact, a fetus present. It is also an effective tool for the skilled OB/GYN to determine gestational age, or how old the fetus is, as well as to give a good estimate of fetal size.
Check for Abnormalities and Multiple Fetuses
There are many abnormalities that can show up on a simple ultrasound, even during the first trimester. First trimester ultrasounds are capable of identifying problems such as a missing fetal nasal bone and can even detect Down Syndrome. Ultrasounds are also used to identify when a multiple pregnancy has occurred, or when the mother is carrying more than one fetus.
Yet another reason your OB/GYN will perform an ultrasound is to identify the gender of your baby. You can always opt to be kept out of the loop, but your doctor will be able to tell whether you are having a boy or a girl based on what he or she sees on the ultrasound screen.
There are many different reasons to have a prenatal ultrasound, but the biggest is to ensure that your baby is healthy and is developing properly. Your OB/GYN can tell a lot from what he or she sees on the ultrasound screen, and regular ultrasounds can be the best way to keep an eye on your baby’s development and to catch any potential problems as quickly as possible. It is recommended that all pregnant women have regular ultrasound examinations, and doing so can be one of the best choices that you can make for both your pregnancy and for your baby.