Pregnancy health: how ultrasounds work, and what they can show

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Pregnancy health: how ultrasounds work, and what they can show

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Ultrasounds, also known as sonograms, are commonly used in pregnancy for a variety of reasons. This type of testing works by recording the echoes of sound waves as they bounce off of the fetus; the sound waves are then translated into a kind of topographical map of the fetus that the ultrasound technician can view on a screen. Sonography is safe, with no known risks or side effects to the mother or baby, and offers a great deal of information that can help the obstetrician either identify potential problems or simply verify that a pregnancy is proceeding normally (which has the added benefit of providing the jittery expectant mother with much-needed peace of mind). A pregnant woman can expect to go for a routine ultrasound at about 22 weeks of pregnancy. To make the uterus more accessible, the bladder should be full – so your doctor will tell you in advance how much water to drink about an hour before the test. The woman lies on her back, and a thin layer of ultrasound gel is spread on

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