What is the test?
Ultrasound is a painless way to show a fetus in the uterus. The test uses sound waves and a type of sonar detection system to generate a black-and-white moving picture on a TV screen. Fetal ultrasound is useful for determining your pregnancy due date and evaluating the health of the baby and its position. It can show some but not all birth defects (for example, it can show some cases of spina bifida and although some findings on ultrasound are used in screening tests for Downs syndrome, it cannot by itself diagnose Down syndrome). It is also useful for diagnosing twins and can sometimes show the sex of your baby.
Page 1 of 6 Next Page: Fetal Ultrasound How Do I Prepare?
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.
You can find more great health information on the Harvard Health Publications website.