Ultrasound Q & A
What is ultrasound?
Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to create a picture of your internal structures. It’s a tool that requires little in the way of preparation. It is safe, noninvasive, and makes no use of radiation.
Original ultrasound technology created images that were flat, thin, and focused only on small sections of your body. Today’s ultrasound platforms create 3D imaging that gives practitioners and patients an impressive visual representation of targeted tissues.
How does ultrasound work?
Ultrasound sends sound waves into your body using a special handpiece called a transducer. Depending on the application, the transducer is moved across your skin or inserted vaginally.
As the sound waves pass through your body, they strike your soft tissues and bounce back, where they are recorded by the transducer. Those echoes are translated into images that are displayed on a screen and interpreted by professionals trained in this type of imaging.
Ultrasound has an excellent safety track record. It’s also completely painless, requiring no anesthesia. It carries no risk of side effects and no need for recovery time.
How is ultrasound used in obstetrics?
Ultrasound is most commonly associated with pregnancy, as it’s the tool that creates a “picture” of your developing baby. Ultrasound allows your doctor to estimate your due date, determine if you’re carrying more than one baby, and ensure proper implantation positioning.
In the later stages of pregnancy, ultrasound serves important diagnostic purposes and can reveal signs of birth defects, placental issues, and developmental abnormalities. As your due date nears, your specialist may use ultrasound to determine your baby’s birth positioning.
How is ultrasound used in gynecologic care?
Your gynecologist may suggest an ultrasound to check for tissue abnormalities in the following areas:
- Fallopian tubes
This imaging tool detects growths such as cysts, fibroids, or tumors, and also identifies inflammation. Ultrasound plays an important role in diagnosing many types of gynecologic issues and helps your doctor determine if additional diagnostic options are needed.
If you experience any gynecologic issues, schedule a visit with Coeur OBGYN today for a thorough diagnostic exam. Online scheduling is available, or you can always call to check availability.