Ultrasound is an exciting tool used during pregnancy, because it gives expecting parents the first look at their baby and tracks the baby’s health. It’s also essential for determining the cause of many gynecological problems. Dr. Anna Le and the team at Annandale Ob-Gyn offer ultrasound on site, including advanced 3D and 4D ultrasounds. To schedule an ultrasound, call one of their offices in Annandale or Alexandria, Virginia, or book an appointment online for an examination to determine if you need an ultrasound.

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of organs and other structures inside your body. A device called a transducer sends sound waves into your body, where the waves bounce off body tissues, making echoes that return to the transducer. Then the transducer sends the information to a computer that translates the sound waves into images.

What are the two types of ultrasound?

Gynecological ultrasounds are typically performed two different ways:

  • Transabdominal ultrasound – This is the type of ultrasound routinely performed on pregnant women. Ultrasound gel is applied to the skin of your belly, then the transducer is moved over your abdomen. The gel feels cold, but it’s important because it creates a bond that helps sound waves go through your skin.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound – A thin transducer is put into your vagina to obtain an ultrasound of your pelvic organs. This method produces a clearer image because the sound waves don’t go through your skin.

How is ultrasound used in obstetrics?

Your doctor at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care determines the number of ultrasounds needed during pregnancy based on the health of you and your baby. Some women have an ultrasound during the first trimester to verify a pregnancy, determine gestational age, and check for a multiple pregnancy.

All women receive a standard ultrasound around 18-22 weeks to evaluate the baby’s growth, look at heart activity, examine the baby’s anatomy, and determine the amount of amniotic fluid.

The baby’s gender can usually be determined during the second-trimester ultrasound. Sometimes the baby’s body is turned away from the ultrasound, so sex organs may not be visible.

Third-trimester ultrasounds aren’t routine, but may be performed if any concerns arise about the health of you or your baby.

How is ultrasound used in obstetrics?

Ultrasound serves as an important tool for determining the cause of gynecological health problems such as abnormal menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. Some common conditions that are often diagnosed with ultrasound include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ovarian cancer

Can you get 3D and 4D ultrasound?

The team at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care proudly offer ultrasound on site. Ultrasounds produces objective images of your healthy baby and baby anatomy. Four-dimensional imaging provides live-streaming video, so you may capture a yawn or other movements.