Frequently Asked Questions

One can often have many different questions regarding an ultrasound examination. Here you will find answers to the most frequent ones.

What does an ultrasound examination entail?

Ultrasound examination is a type of examination where sound waves with a higher frequency than the human ear can hear are used. The sound waves are sent in through the skin's surface and propagate in the body's tissues, creating an echo. The echo causes sound waves to return to the sound head, which picks up these sound signals. After processing in the computer, an image appears on the screen. In this way, you can see the fetus, amniotic fluid and the location of the placenta.

Is ultrasound harmful?

Ultrasound examinations during pregnancy are safe for both mother and child. Ultrasound examinations during pregnancy have been carried out in Norway since the 1960s and there is currently no documentation showing harmful effects of ultrasound as it is used.

Is there a warranty with ultrasound?

Although several ultrasound examinations have not revealed any abnormality in the fetus, there is still no guarantee that everything is in order.

What are the umbilical cord vessels?

The fetus normally has 3 vessels in the umbilical cord. A vein carries oxygen-rich 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 to release waste products. If there is great resistance in the placenta as a result of, for example, calcifications and infarcts, this could lead to poorer fetal growth. The blood flow rate will be able to reveal this. If an affected blood flow is found in the fetus, it requires intensive monitoring at the hospital. Being pregnant is a natural state in life and usually goes well for most people. Nevertheless, pregnancy involves certain changes that the pregnant woman should take into account.

What do you do if you suspect an illness or abnormality?

During any ultrasound examination, one will always go through the anatomy and measure the fetus to follow growth. If there is a suspicion of a developmental abnormality or illness in the fetus, a referral will be made for further follow-up at the relevant hospital, for example the Rikshospitalet.

Limitations when using ultrasound

It is not always possible to get such good ultrasound images of the fetus. If the fetus lies very curled up far down in the pelvis, and with its back towards us, it will be difficult to obtain a good profile. Technical challenges for an optimal ultrasound image could be a weakening of the ultrasound signal in the mother's body wall.