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Ultrasound is a technique used to make images of your baby within the uterus by using sound waves. As sound waves pass through the layers of the abdomen, uterus, and baby, they are reflected to show the uterus, developing baby, and the nearby structures.  These echoes are then converted into signals and displayed on a television monitor as a “picture” of the structure(s) being examined. An obstetrical ultrasound is not a treatment for any condition, but is performed only for diagnostic purposes.  During your pregnancy, information obtained can be used to evaluate fetal growth, confirm the presence of a fetal heartbeat, detect the presence of multiple fetuses, and detect some, but not all, birth defects.  Ultrasound can also provide information on the shape and size of the uterus and may detect some, but not all, uterine or ovarian growths. The accuracy of an ultrasound in detecting abnormalities depends on the fetal gestational age, fetal position, and maternal weight.  It is important that the results of the ultrasound examination be discussed with your healthcare provider.

What are the risks of ultrasound in pregnancy?

Currently, there are no known risks to patients or their baby during an ultrasound examination.  No adverse patient or fetal effects of diagnostic obstetrical ultrasound have been demonstrated in humans after more than twenty years of clinical use. The alternative to having your diagnostic ultrasound is to not have any imaging of your baby, uterus, or other pelvic structures.  As a consequence, your healthcare provider would then make recommendations on the basis of physical examination only. In San Antonio, you may find many options when it comes to an imaging facility.  Your provider can help you decide which service would be the best fit for you and your family and can send a referral for you to have the proper diagnostic ultrasound. Visit our directory for our preferred ultrasound providers in San Antonio.

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