What is ultrasound?

One can often have many different questions regarding an ultrasound examination. Here are answers to most common questions.

What is an ultrasonograph?

Ultrasonography is a type of examination where one uses sound waves of higher frequency than the human ear can hear. The sound waves are sent through the skin’s surface and propagate in the body tissues. They return to the ultrasound device and creates an image on the screen. In this way one can see the fetus, amniotic fluid and placenta location.

Is ultrasound harmful?

Ultrasound examinations in pregnancy has been conducted in Norway since 1960. There is currently no evidence to show the harmful effects of ultrasound as it is used. It’s not always one get such good ultrasound images of the fetus. If the fetus is very tangled deep in the pelvis, and with his back to us, it will be difficult to prepare a good profile. Technical challenges for an optimal ultrasound image may be weakening of the ultrasonic signal in the mother’s body wall.

Are there any guarantees that ultrasound will find any and/or all abnormalities?

Even though several ultrasound examinations have been performed and have not revealed any deviations and/or abnormalities of the fetus, there is no guarantee that the ultrasound will show that everything is in order.

Umbilical cord vessels

The fetus normally has 3 vessels in the umbilical cord. A vein leads oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood from the placenta to the fetus. Two arteries carry oxygen-poor blood back to the placenta to receive oxygen and nutrients, and emit combustion products. If there is a lot of resistance in the placenta as a result of such calcifications and infarcts, it may lead to poorer fetal growth.

Blood flow velocity will reveal this. If an affected blood flow finds this to be so in the fetus, it requires intensive monitoring only in a hospital.

Being pregnant is a natural state of life which goes smoothly for most. Nevertheless pregnancy involves certain changes which pregnant women should pay attention to.

What do you do if you suspect a disease or deviation in the pregnancy?

At any ultrasound the examination will always go through the full anatomy of the fetus and measure the fetus to evaluate the growth. If there is suspicion of abnormality or disease of the fetus, the mother will immediately be referred for further action by the relevant hospital, for example, Rikshospitalet.

Limitations in pictures taken by ultrasound

It is not always possible to get a perfect ultrasound picture of the fetus. If the fetus is curled up and laying deep in the pelvis with his back towards us, it will be difficult to capture a good profile. Technical challenges for an optimal ultrasound image may become weakened by the ultrasonic signal in the mother’s body wall.