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What is an ultrasound scan or sonogram?

March 22, 2022

Find out more about these important milestones in your pregnancy.

A sonogram, also known as an ultrasound, is a medical imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. During an ultrasound scan, a technician or doctor will apply a special gel to the skin over the abdomen, and then use a device called a transducer to emit sound waves into the body. These sound waves bounce off internal organs and tissues and are detected by the transducer, which then creates a detailed image of the internal structures.

Sonograms are commonly used during pregnancy to monitor the growth and development of the foetus, as they provide a safe and non-invasive way to see inside the womb. They can also be used to diagnose and monitor a range of other medical conditions.

The timing of scans varies depending on your healthcare provider; in the UK, the NHS offers parents scans at 12 weeks and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and at other times if it’s medically necessary to check on your baby. It’s also exciting to see your baby on screen for the first time, to be reassured if everything is normal, and to take home a little picture to show family and friends.

Overall, ultrasound scans are a valuable tool that can help healthcare professionals and parents better understand what’s happening inside your body and to make more informed decisions about care during your pregnancy.

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