Ultrasound is a safe and painless way to show images of the inside of the body.
Using ultrasound, doctors can determine the health of a pregnancy at five weeks.
These scans can also provide a look at a patient’s organs to determine if there are infections or diseases.
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is an imaging method used to look at organs. It uses high frequency sound waves to see inside the body. Ultrasounds are painless, although there may be some pressure from the ultrasound probe in order to see internal organs.
Ultrasound is done by placing a probe called a transducer over the body or in a natural cavity (for example, in the vagina to evaluate a very early pregnancy). The transducer gives off sound waves and reads how they bounce off organs, muscles and blood vessels.
How is an ultrasound used?
Images are captured in real-time and can show movement. This can be useful when diagnosing issues with blood flow and guiding tools inside the body (to do a biopsy, for example).
Ultrasound is are commonly used on pregnant women to view the fetus inside the body.
Ultrasounds don't expose you to radiation
This is why it is so common for pregnant women to be evaluated with ultrasound.
Neither the woman nor the fetus is exposed to radiation. Ultrasound shows a fetal heartbeat as well as possible birth defects.