Fetal Ultrasound

Fetal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to provide an image of the fetus and placenta. Fetal ultrasound is the safest way to obtain information about the fetus, such as its size, position, age, and condition. During a fetal ultrasound, a small handheld instrument called a transducer is used to direct sound waves…

Fetal Ultrasound

Fetal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to provide an image of the fetus and placenta. Fetal ultrasound is the safest way to obtain information about the fetus, such as its size, position, age, and condition.

During a fetal ultrasound, a small handheld instrument called a transducer is used to direct sound waves through the pregnant woman's abdomen. A computer analyzes the sound waves that are reflected back from the fetus and other structures in the uterus and converts them into an image. Fetal ultrasound can be done by moving the transducer across the woman's abdomen (transabdominal) or by inserting the transducer in her vagina (transvaginal). After about the 11th week of pregnancy, almost all fetal ultrasounds are done using the transabdominal method.

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Fetal Ultrasound

Curved lines represent ultrasound waves.

Fetal Ultrasound

Fetal ultrasound

Curved lines represent ultrasound waves.

Current as ofMay 29, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
William M. Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC, FACOG - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.