While it may seem like the most exciting part of getting an ultrasound is getting to see your baby, the really cool thing is that they give your medical team a safe, powerful way to monitor the health of your pregnancy—or sometimes find answers to reproductive health concerns outside of pregnancy.
Few things can match the excitement of seeing that first ultrasound picture of your baby. In addition to the joy of seeing your child, ultrasound gives your obstetric care provider valuable information about your pregnancy. It helps us confirm your due date, look at your baby’s anatomy, screen for birth defects and monitor the growth and health of your baby. Ultrasounds are indeed an amazing tool, but it’s important to understand that they can’t tell us everything or detect all birth defects.
WHA’s team of sonographers are registered in their area of specialty with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). They have experience obtaining images of babies in the womb that are important to monitoring the progress of your pregnancy and assuring optimal health of your unborn child. And, if you’re having trouble deciphering an adorable little foot from a teeny weeny hand, they can help with that too.
Obstetric ultrasounds result in many images (sometimes up to 70 or more) of your baby that are all reviewed and interpreted by an OB/GYN physician or maternal fetal medicine specialist with additional training and experience in the evaluation of obstetric ultrasounds. They work hand-in-hand with our sonographers everyday to obtain the information necessary for your obstetric care provider to effectively manage your pregnancy.
Sometimes 3-D or 4-D ultrasound is used to obtain more information on an area of concern, such as a cleft lip or palate, a cardiac abnormality or an aspect of the baby’s anatomy that is difficult to capture using 2-D ultrasound because of the way the baby is positioned in the womb. These new technologies continue to be developed and can provide images that are much more realistic—giving you the opportunity to ooh and awe over your cute, multi-dimensional baby while your provider gathers information that can help keep the health of your pregnancy on track.
Though maybe not quite as exciting, ultrasound is also very useful in gynecology for examining the organs in the pelvis. These include the reproductive organs, such as the uterus, ovaries and cervix, and the organs of the urinary tract, such as the bladder. Using ultrasound in this way can help your WHA physician evaluate the cause of gynecological symptoms, such as pelvic pain or unusual vaginal bleeding.
The sonographers at WHA who perform gynecological ultrasound are registered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. The images they obtain during your exam are read and interpreted by designated OB/GYN physicians within our practice who report the results to your provider.