Slide arrow to your week: back
  •  

    1 week

  •  

    2 week

  •  

    3 week

  •  

    4 week

  •  

    5 week

  •  

    6 week

  •  

    7 week

  •  

    8 week

  •  

    9 week

  •  

    10 week

  •  

    11 week

  •  

    12 week

  •  

    13 - 14 week

  •  

    15 - 16 week

  •  

    17 - 18 week

  •  

    19 - 20 week

  •  

    21 - 22 week

  •  

    23 - 24 week

  •  

    25 - 26 week

  •  

    27 - 28 week

  •  

    29 - 30 week

  •  

    31 - 32 week

  •  

    33 - 34 week

  •  

    35 - 36 week

  •  

    37 - 38 week

  •  

    39 - 40 week

  •  

    41 - 42 week

Ultrasounds - what can they show, reasons for

Ultrasounds - what can they show, reasons for


  • The woman's uterus, cervix and placenta, noting the proximity of the placenta to the cervix to see whether it is low lying.
  • The amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and estimating whether the volume is within the normal expected range. Too much fluid is known as 'polyhydramnios', too little is known as 'oligohydramnios' .
  • Both ends of the baby's umbilical cord and counting the blood vessels in the cord, of which there should be 3 vessels (2 arteries and 1 vein). Sometimes there will only be 2 vessels (one artery and one vein).
  • The position the baby is lying inside the uterus (known as the 'presentation'), for example, breech (bottom first), transverse or head down (called 'cephalic').
  • The baby's skeleton, arms, legs, hands and feet. Checking to see that their feet are not clubbed. The ultrasonographer will also note if the baby is moving during the examination.
  • The baby's genitals (if able to be seen). They may be able to let you know the sex of your baby, if this can be identified (and you want to know).
  • The baby's face, eyes, nose, tongue and mouth (to look for cleft lip).
  • The baby's stomach, bladder, diaphragm and kidney's, particularly the section of the kidney that collects urine for transport to the bladder (called the 'renal pelvis'). The renal pelvis is measured (if seen adequately) and if it is excessively dilated this may possibly indicate future kidney problems. You can read more in dilated renal pelvis.
  • The baby's femur (or thigh bone) length is measured as well as their abdominal circumference, biparietal diameter (width of their head) and head circumference (measurement around their head). These may need to be measured 2 or 3 times, depending on how clearly the areas are able to be seen. All the measurements are put into a software program to estimate the gestation age of the baby.
  • The baby's skull and spine are carefully examined for neural tube defects and their brain is examined and measured. The ultrasound may reveal the presence of possible choroid plexus cysts.
  • The baby's abdominal wall and intestines are examined.
  • The baby's heart is examined, particularly the 4 chambers of the heart, the partitions (or septums between the chambers) to try and detect a hole in the heart. The heart valves are checked and the direction of blood flow through the main heart vessels (the aorta and pulmonary artery) as well as counting the actual heart rate.
Page 10 of 16
 |<  <  6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15  >  >| 

Get weekly development
updates on your baby and
you during pregnancy

  • Key milestones
  • Healthy tips and advice
  • A friendly online community
  • Delivered straight to your inbox

Enter your due date

 

Add a fur-baby

We look at the six best pet options for your family. W...

read more »

Reading time

Check out our suggestions for some books to read befor...

read more »

For the new mums *yawn*

Sleep is definitely an obsession for new parents. Is '...

read more »