How Many Kinds of Ultrasounds Are There?

July 14, 2015

One of the most exciting times during pregnancy is getting to see your baby during an ultrasound. As you know, an ultrasound is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to scan a woman’s abdomen and pelvic cavity to create an image of the baby. But did you know that there are multiple kinds of ultrasounds? Learn more below.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

Transvaginal ultrasounds use a special probe that is placed inside the vagina to create an image of the uterus. This type of ultrasound is often used in patients who are overweight or in the early stages of pregnancy. Because transvaginal ultrasounds can produce clear images of the uterus, they are often used to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy as well as a number of fetal abnormalities.

Doppler Ultrasound

Doppler ultrasounds measure slight changes in the frequency of the ultrasound waves. One of the most common sonogram procedures for expectant mothers, this ultrasound is used to assess and monitor the wellbeing of a fetus and its progression as well as to detect any cardiac malformations.

3-D and 4-D Ultrasound

In recent years, 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds have gained popularity due to the realistic images they can produce.  To achieve this, a transducer takes a series of images of the fetus. Then, a computer processes the images and presents them as a three dimensional image. By using computer controls, the ultrasound technician can obtain views that would not be available with a traditional two-dimensional ultrasound scan.

Besides providing impressive three-dimensional images to the parents-to-be, 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds can help to detect prominent birth defects, such as spina bifida, cleft palates, and polydactyl, as well as less prominent birth defects, like low-set ears, facial dysmorphia, and clubbing, which can be symptomatic of chromosomal abnormalities.

Fetal Echocardiography

This type of ultrasound uses waves to assess the baby’s heart anatomy and function, making this procedure useful in the detection of suspected congenital heart defects.

The Right Ultrasound Services for You

At OBGYN of Lakewood Ranch, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive gynecological care in the Sarasota and surrounding areas. If you are expecting and ready to schedule your ultrasound appointment, call us today or request an appointment online.