Ultrasound and Pregnancy: The Second Trimester
While the first ultrasound of a pregnancy is necessary to confirm pregnancy and initial health of the fetus and the mother, there’s more to come!
Ultrasound: 2nd Trimester Pregnancy
The second trimester ultrasound is a fun one! Now, ultrasounds are not entertainment – they are a medical screening and we doctors take them seriously for the sake of the health of all.
Luckily, ultrasounds do not involve radiation so they are safe and non-invasive. Whereas a first trimester ultrasound requires what is known as a transvaginal probe, the second trimester is done entirely externally unless there are special circumstances with mom or the baby.
What to Expect
You will be asked to come to the exam with a full bladder – we actually use the full bladder as a “window” through which we can view the pregnancy.
The exam with the bladder full will be done using a transducer across your belly to get a good evaluation of the uterus and your pelvis. This is most helpful in demonstrating the pregnancy location and fetus position.
The whole process will take about half an hour.
So… what’s the fun? Want to know if it’s a boy or girl? Want to see a clearer picture of the fetus? Now’s the time! Because most people wait until the second term to announce their pregnancy to friends and family, these images often appear on places like Facebook as the first introduction of who’s-to-come. That’s a lovely bonus.
What We Can See
But the serious side of a second term ultrasound is to determine a few important things. First, we want to confirm size and due date for this pregnancy making sure the fetal size and expected due date match up. We also want to confirm overall fetal health while performing a fetal anatomic survey. This means we can see development of the fetus and detect any possible problems. If there is any point of concern by second trimester ultrasound study often more detailed ultrasound, fetal echocardiography or other imaging can be planned to further evaluate any potential problem.
Ultimately, the second ultrasound is something to look forward to. Great information comes from the second trimester ultrasound regarding the health and welfare of mom and her baby. And, ok, it’s a little fun too.
Originally published 3/25/14 on diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com.