Ultrasounds, which are sometimes referred to as sonograms, are excellent diagnostic imaging tools that allow Judith Gurdian, MD, Michelle Spector, MD, Tanya Ghatan, MD, and the rest of the team at Capital Women’s Care in Rockville, Maryland, to not only monitor your pregnancy but also diagnose other medical conditions affecting your reproductive organs. If you’re pregnant or have concerns about other pelvic health issues, call or make an appointment online today.
An ultrasound or sonogram is a diagnostic imaging process that uses sound waves to create images of your developing baby or your internal organs and tissues. The test is painless and completely safe for expectant mothers and their babies.
The doctors at Capital Women’s Care use ultrasounds for a variety of reasons. Ultrasounds are best known for creating images of developing babies so your doctor can check its growth and development. They can also use ultrasound to perform nuchal translucency (NT) scans for Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.
If you’re not pregnant, the ultrasound is still a useful diagnostic tool for your gynecologist. Your doctor can use it to look for signs of issues like ovarian cysts, uterine cancer, fibroids, and more.
An NT scan is a specific use of an ultrasound to measure the translucent space at the back of your unborn baby’s neck. It’s common for babies with chromosomal abnormalities to develop extra fluid in this space during the first trimester. Your doctor performs this scan when you’re 11-14 weeks pregnant as your baby’s neck is still transparent at this point. Like all ultrasounds, this test is completely safe and painless.
During your ultrasound, you rest on a treatment bed with your abdomen exposed. Your doctor or technician prepares you for the scan by spreading a gel over your belly. The gel improves the transmission of the sound waves through your body.
Then, they slowly rub a handheld transducer wand over your abdomen. The transducer sends the sound waves through your body and collects the rebounding waves to create images that appear on a screen in the treatment room.
These ultrasound images allow your doctor to monitor your baby’s growth and development and can even reveal the sex of your baby.
If you’re overweight or if the doctor is trying to get more detailed images, they may use an intravaginal transducer wand. This wand is gently inserted into your vagina so the sound waves have less tissue to travel through, which can create more clear and detailed images.
Schedule your ultrasound by calling the office or making an appointment online.