What Type of Scan For Pregnancy Is The Best?
Although not 100% accurate, ultrasound is the prominent term that pops up while discussing what type of scan for pregnancy is the best. No, not a CT scan, not an MRI or PET scan!
Your doctor may ask for two or more rounds of ultrasound scans depending on what your doctor intends to see and analyze through the scan images.
An ultrasound can help your doctor to have an in-depth diagnosis of the child growing inside your womb. Your doctor may want to see your pelvic organs during pregnancy, such as your uterus, ovaries, embryo, and gestational sac.
Doctors may even predict a birth disorder and want to see if early surgery can help save your child. Perhaps, it is a part of parental care during pregnancy. Not that you do have to pursue these scans, but undertaking them can assure you of a healthy delivery.
And who does not want to see her child growing healthy within her body, feel the heartbeat, and see how well the fetus forms? Everyone does!
But only learning all about ultrasound can ensure a smooth scan during your pregnancy, and stay prepared for it! Here in the article, you can find all that is essential to fill your knowledge gaps about pregnancy ultrasound.
Ready to discover them?
The Gold-Standard Scan For Pregnancy: An Ultrasound!
The imaging modality in medical science, where high-energy sound waves bounce off the internal organs and tissues, creating images on a computer screen, is, what we call, an ultrasound. This scan is sometimes called sonography as well!
The ultrasound scan takes place in hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centers. It is a painless test, sometimes non-invasive and sometimes minimally-invasive, depending on which type of ultrasound your doctor refers to! The scan typically gets performed on an outpatient basis, and you do not have to stay admitted to the hospital for it!
A radiology team assists during this scan. The team may consist of a supervisee radiologist, radiology technicians, and other caregivers. It is a quick scan that takes around 20 minutes at the maximum, and you can return to your work right after the scan.
Medical experts regard ultrasound as the gold standard for pregnancy diagnosis, as it is the safest modality existing for pregnancy scans today! It can create 2D, 3D, and 4D cross-sectional images of the baby growing inside you.
Transabdominal Vs. Transvaginal Ultrasound: Which Type of Scan for Pregnancy Is The Best?
According to medical experts, transvaginal ultrasound is the best modality to up-take during a pregnancy scan. However, your doctor may even recommend a transabdominal ultrasound.
While a transabdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive method, a transvaginal one is minimally-invasive.
- In both cases, you have to lie down on a table during the scan.
- The caregiver is likely to apply a water-based gel on your pelvic and abdominal area to facilitate the smooth transmission of sound waves to and from your body.
- Then, the radiologist technician either moves a handheld wand-like instrument called a transducer over your belly or inserts the probe into your vagina.
- The probe transmits sound waves into your body, which thereby encounters your pelvic organs and the fetus, bounces off, and records the image on the computer console.
Evidences back a transvaginal ultrasound for its 90% accuracy in diagnosing the pregnancy position in your uterus. In fact, evidence also reveals that this ultrasound method can detect ectopic pregnancy, the condition where the fetus grows outside the ovaries, typically in the fallopian tube. In this regard, a transvaginal ultrasound holds a 73.9% accuracy.
On the other note, researchers also note that a transabdominal ultrasound is a prominent scanning method for early pregnancy diagnosis. Science Direct states that this scanning modality reserves over 90% specificity and sensitivity for it!
This means your doctor is the one who can decide which type of scan for pregnancy is the best, whether a transabdominal or a transvaginal one! Whatever it is, both are safe and do not bring any side effects or risks.
Why Do Doctors Recommend A Pregnancy Ultrasound?
Your doctor recommends a pregnancy ultrasound for various reasons, and they are as follows!
- Your doctor may want to check the fetal heartbeat and confirm the pregnancy.
- An ultrasound can help doctors determine how far you are in pregnancy. In other words, your doctor can assess the baby’s gestational age.
- Your doctor may seek to know if there are multiple pregnancies or only one.
- Doctors typically recommend this scan to check the position of the placenta alongside the length of the cervix.
- Your doctor may look for pregnancy anomalies, like a cleft lip, congenital cardiac abnormalities, abnormal intestine growth, diaphragmatic hernia, and more.
- An ultrasound can also reveal miscarriage during the second-trimester scan.
- Doctors pursue an ultrasound to estimate your due delivery date.
Why Do Doctors Prefer Ultrasound Over Other Imaging Modalities For Pregnancy?
When it comes to the question of which scan for pregnancy is the best, ultrasound remains a top choice for doctors. Of course, there are reasons behind it, and they are the following.
- Your doctor, or any doctor, for that matter, prefers ultrasound over other imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, or PET scans because it is much safer than the latter. Unlike others, an ultrasound does not encompass radiation exposure and therefore does not risk you or your baby to further health complications.
- Although MRI is another safe process, doctors avoid it and instead opt for ultrasound because an MRI may bring anxiety and claustrophobic situations. Besides, an ultrasound is widely accessible and less expensive than an MRI. An ultrasound is quicker than an MRI too!
Last but not least, whether you are in the first trimester or second, an ultrasound scan does not require any special preparation. However, you must always consult your doctor before pursuing a pregnancy ultrasound. Your doctor always knows what is best for you and your baby.
For more valuable insights on a pregnancy ultrasound, stay tuned with us at www.mrichandigarh.com