Ultrasound

The transvaginal ultrasound does not require a full bladder. In this method, a hand-held probe is inserted into the vagina, just like a tampon. Many women feel more comfortable inserting it themselves. This procedure generally takes 10 to 15 minutes.

Indications for use of ultrasound
Ultrasound can be used in obstetrics as well as for detecting gynecological problems. The indications listed below are the most common reasons ultrasound is used:

  • Discrepancy in pregnancy dating
  • To determine fetal age
  • Concern about fetal development
  • Suspect multiple pregnancies
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Suspected fetal abnormalities
  • Suspected fetal death
  • Structural problem with uterus
  • To locate the placenta
  • Placental abnormalities
  • Determine ectopic pregnancy and other abnormalities of pregnancy
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Suspected ovarian tumor/fibroids

 

Advantages
A valuable diagnostic tool in obstetrics, ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that provides clear visualization of the fetus and surrounding structures. It can allay fears and concerns. Ultrasound provides the visualization necessary for performing other medical procedures, such as amniocentesis and turning a breech baby.

Disadvantages
Ultrasound costs between $200 and $300. Cost can be a factor, particularly if insurance is unavailable.

Accuracy of ultrasound
Ultrasound is considered to be a reliable and accurate diagnostic tool. It is important to remember that they require interpretation and discrepancies do occur; these generally increase in late pregnancy. 

Risks associated with ultrasound?
At this time, no clinically significant adverse effects have been reported.

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