Having A Baby Later In Life: The Many Questions Ultrasound Can Answer For You

Posted on: 1 November 2017

You have a lot to worry about and take care of when you're expecting a baby, especially if you're over 40, but one amazing tool that will help ease your concerns, as well as answer many pressing questions for you, is the ultrasound. Because it's so important, you may actually feel anxious about it; however, since the ultrasound is going to show you, in such great detail, the wonderful human being you're soon to meet and everything going on inside their little world (your womb), this is one pregnancy appointment you should really look forward to.

How An Ultrasound Works

One of the most important advantages of ultrasound is that it's safe for your baby, as it doesn't involve the use of potentially harmful x-rays or any type of radiation. A transducer, which is a device that changes energy from one form to another, is placed on your belly, and it sends harmless sound waves within the womb. When those sound waves make contact and bounce around, they create echoes, and those echoes form a pattern that creates a picture.

What It Looks For Under Normal Circumstances

The pictures obtained in your ultrasound help doctors determine the gender of your baby, how far along you are, and what position the baby is in, among other things. For most women, having an ultrasound means adding to the already bubbling excitement, but sometimes an ultrasound can detect situations that aren't cause for celebration.

Ultrasound For Possible Abnormalities

If any blood work or symptoms give rise to concern, your doctor may order an intravaginal or trans-vaginal ultrasound, which gives them a closer look at the inner workings of your body and of the developing fetus. Saline infusion sonography might also be employed, as it provides very clear images of the uterus, which your medical team can then use to more accurately analyze your situation. A Doppler ultrasound could be used to ensure the proper amount of blood is flowing between your body and the baby. If you have any existing conditions, such as diabetes or genetic predispositions, or if other factors are present that could affect the fetus and/or you, the ultrasound will detect them:

  • Possible birth defects could be observed, such as congenital heart disease or Down Syndrome.
  • Insufficient fetal growth, which can lead to low birth weight and may be caused by diabetes or high blood pressure, or something as simple as you not eating enough.
  • Ectopic pregnancy indicates that your baby isn't growing inside the uterus, as is normal, requiring some form of intervention.
  • Likelihood of miscarriage may be dramatically lowered once an ultrasound detects your baby's heartbeat.
  • More than one fetus may be seen during the tests, meaning your parental joy is going to be doubled or tripled or more.
  • Issues with amniotic fluid, like having too much or too little, are noted during an amniotic fluid index test, conducted during each ultrasound.
  • Dystocia, or an improper position of the fetus or an unusually large fetus, detected prior to labor via an ultrasound, can avoid potentially threatening complications and may require a C-section delivery.
  • Placenta complications, such as the baby not receiving sufficient nutrients or having blood vessel abnormalities.
  • Abnormalities within the pelvic area that you may not have been aware of prior to your pregnancy; they might be dealt with immediately or following birth, depending on their severity.
  • Disease and other problems, like a possible tumor or gestational-specific issues, may present themselves during the ultrasound, giving doctors the opportunity to resolve the situation.

Those Amazing Pictures!

Aside from all the medical inquires an ultrasound addresses, it's going to provide you with the first pictures of your baby. Current technology allows for an up-close and personal peek at your little one, even in brilliant 3-D imaging, which is guaranteed to make your heart flutter with joy. Save these pictures, as they're much more than a diagnostic tool for doctors—they're the start of your photo album or scrapbook.

While the opportunity to see within the womb and possibly discover complications may give rise to a touch of anxiety, more so if you're older, the ultrasound does so many things for you and your baby, you really should look forward to this procedure. It's not invasive, nor does it have any side-effects, and it can help your medical team avert major problems you'd otherwise be surprised by at a later date. Make a list of all the questions you have before your ultrasound appointment, and be sure to ask them, taking full advantage of this super-precise look into your womb and the precious child developing therein. 

To learn more about ultrasounds, contact a company like EVDI Medical Imaging.