Detecting Fetal Abnormalities Through Ultrasound

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Detecting Fetal Abnormalities Through Ultrasound
Birth defects can have life threatening consequences for the fetus. Many birth defects can be detected during pregnancy by an ultrasound. Some of these abnormalities include abdominal wall defect, orofacial cleft, anencephaly, and down syndrome. Although at this time ultrasound is the safest way to observe a fetus, risks are still associated with it.
An ultrasound is a test that sends sound waves into the woman’s abdomen or vagina in order to create an image to observe how the fetus is developing within the womb (“Pregnancy Ultrasound,” n.d.). Some of the many names for an ultrasound include pregnancy ultrasound, babi, obstetric ultrasonography, and an obstetric sonogram. The ultrasound can be done in either a hospital, doctor’s office, or a clinic (“Pregnancy Ultrasound,” n.d.). An ultrasound can performed transabdominally or transvaginally. A transabdominal ultrasound is performed over the woman’s abdomen and usually takes about 30-60 minutes. A transvaginal ultrasound is when the transducer is inserted into a woman’s vagina and it typically takes 15-30 minutes. A transducer is a handheld tool which is also called a probe. This is placed against the mother’s abdomen and helps to create the image of the fetus during a transabdominal ultrasound. During a transavigal ultrasound this probe is inserted into the woman’s vagina (“Fetal Ultrasound,” n.d.). The test is performed by using a gel which is water-based and a probe, or transducer, to transmit the sound waves. The sound waves hit the baby and in return create an image. A full bladder is often used to help create a good image. The only discomfort to the mother would be when pressure is placed onto her...

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