Obstetric ultrasound serves the purpose of establishing the presence of a fetus, determine fetal number, determine viability, estimate the age of the pregnancy, evaluate the position of both the fetus and the placenta, and diagnose congenital abnormalities of the fetus.
This test examines a woman’s reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries and cervix. Before the 10th week of gestation a sonographic study is recommended for all patients with risk factors like bleeding, pelvic pain, a previous miscarriage, pregnancy with an intrauterine device-IUD (Mirena, ParaGard, Copper-T, coil, etc), patients with a history of infertility, pregnancy through in-vitro fertilization and embryonic transference, history of uterine malformations, history of previous cesarean section to name some.
This procedure can be done vaginally or abdominally. It is considered to be a routine study (all pregnant women should have this examination), with the objective of detecting sonographic indicators of possible fetal complications or early anomalies. There are two special measures that can be taken at this time in pregnancy (the nuchal translucency and nasal bone) which are important in the detection of Down Syndrome—and anatomically evaluate the development of the fetus. The normal sonographic examination before week 10 doesn’t exclude this study. With the new technology in 3D we can visualize more anomalies.
The main objective of this procedure is to accurately evaluate the fetus, anatomically, when it has developed completely. It is recommended for all pregnant women between week 20th and 24th of gestation.
This is a procedure recommended for patients with risks such as: premature birth due to previous preterm deliveries (the birth of a baby before the 37th weeks of gestational age), patients with history of surgical procedures in the uterus, or with uterine abnormalities. Woman who consult due to vaginal bleeding associated with pregnancy and frequent uterine contractions, will also benefit from this type of ultrasound.
The cervical length measurement is also a diagnosis procedure of choice in patients with cervical incompetence or insufficiency , which is a medical condition in which the pregnant woman’s cervix (channel through which the fetus will pass during birth ) begins to dilate and get thinner before her pregnancy has reached term. It is also recommended for pregnant patients that have a stich in the cervix in order to prevent premature labor ( also known as Cerclage).
3D ultrasound allows us to visualize the anatomical structures of the fetus, the objective being to complement conventional studies. This technique helps the parents further understand the images and the system we use offers a practical way to give all the information to the patient, digitally. This is a unique opportunity for the parents to be able to visualize their baby in a more comprehensible, real form which supersedes planes of imaging that can’t be captured through the conventional method.
This is a study recommended for the evaluation for fetal wellbeing in patients with risk factors related to diseases or disorders or because of events associated with pregnancy. In general, this procedure is ordered after 24 weeks of pregnancy. It includes the behavioral evaluation of the fetus: fetal movements (both of their body and extremities as well as respiratory), fetal muscles tone, the amount of amniotic fluid and fetal monitoring after 28 weeks of gestation.
In the last trimester, the objective of the ultrasound is to evaluate the fetal development and growth (estimation of fetal weight), fetal position, volume of the amniotic fluid, and location of the umbilical cord, to name some. The 3rd trimester ultrasound also aims to review the fetal anatomy again because there are some anomalies that can appear later in pregnancy. It is important and advised to bring previous ultrasounds in order to compare past and present results for a more thorough evaluation.
The pelvic ultrasound is recommended as a complement to a routine gynecologic exam to all patients who present pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, or excessive bleeding during menstruation. This procedure is used as a more precise diagnostic tool for patients with adnexal masses (mass of the ovary, fallopian tube, or surrounding connective tissues) present during a gynecological exam. Also, it is involved in the study of patients with problems of infertility and has proved to be crucial in the evaluation of ovulation and the monitoring of various therapeutic schemes. A pelvic ultrasound (abdominally, with a full bladder) allows us to evaluate adolescents or women who haven’t begun a sexual life, cases in which, for the most part, it is difficult conduct a full gynecologic exam.
Transvaginal ultrasound after menopause is critical for early detection of malignant pathologies, for example, endometrial or ovarian cancer. With a pelvic ultrasound, we can perform different studies including follicular monitoring, hysterosonography, Doppler examinations of the pelvic vessels and analysis of the tumor’s vascular structure, biopsies guided by ultrasound, and 3D exams of the pelvic organs.
This procedure is a series of exams, usually 3-5 studies per cycle, which takes place during the menstrual cycle, whether induced or spontaneous. Generally, it starts on day 9 or 10 of the cycle where day one is the date of the last menstruation. The objective of this examination is to confirm ovulation increasing and determine the probability of pregnancy.
A hysterosonography is a study that should be performed in the first 10 days of the menstrual cycle. A catheter with saline solution (contrast medium) is introduced into the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes. It’s a simple exam recommended for patients with abnormal uterine hemorrhaging that could have pathologies of the uterine and endometrial cavities—for example, hyperplasia, polyps, myoms (tumors), among others. Patients with infertility are also recommended for this procedure.
The 3D technology used in the study of the uterine cavity allows diagnosing congenital anomalies even with more accuracy than that MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and at much less cost. Pelvic ultrasounds using 3D technology are useful to identify if your Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) is well positioned, especially if you are experiencing pelvic pain. Another useful indication is in post-menopausal bleeding or abnormal menstrual bleeding because it allows observing the uterus in three dimensions, improving the diagnosis and management of patient’s symptoms.
Intra Uterine Device misplaced. (Only seen with 3D)
Normal Position of Intra Uterine Device only seen by 3D
Over the past 50 years the development of obstetrics and gynecology has changed thanks to sonography or ultrasound. This method is unsurpassed in prenatal care since it is completely safe for both the mother and the fetus throughout the entire pregnancy. It is also completely safe for non-pregnant woman, being an excellent resource for the study of the female organs during different developmental stages (from adolescence when girls start their periods to later in life when women start menopause). Our practice offers different types of ultrasound based on the specific needs of each woman and also as part of their routine examinations.
The ultrasound services we provide are performed using machines that are up to date in their technological and safety features. The team of sonographers doing the ultrasound are all certified by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and the leader of this team is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist as well as registered sonographer. The combination of highly specialized equipment with highly trained professionals, can give you the guarantee of receiving the best quality services available in a safe and kind atmosphere.
We want to introduce you to the different types of studies we currently perform. For that purpose we will divide the procedures in two categories: Obstetric and Gynecological ultrasound.