Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to produce a real time image of organs and structures inside the body. Most often, you see ultrasounds performed during pregnancy, but they are commonly used for determining issues outside of pregnancy as well.
During pregnancy, 3D ultrasounds are used to show a three-dimensional look at an image, yielding a life-like picture of your baby. Early in pregnancy, it may be used to determine due dates, the presence of twins, and rule out any potential problems. Midway and later in pregnancy ultrasounds may be used to learn the sex of your baby, rule out genetic or birth defects, and estimate the size of your baby just before delivery.
4D ultrasounds give the same three-dimensional look but make it possible to see your baby’s movement very clearly, such as yawns, outstretched arms and kicking legs. Many people refer to 4D ultrasounds performed later in their pregnancy as “a sneak peek at meeting their little one,” for the precision and clarity provided.
Ultrasounds also serve as useful diagnostic tools in determining conditions outside of pregnancy. They may be used to look for cysts on the uterus or ovaries, issues concerning the bladder, or a variety of other pelvic region conditions. Ultrasounds provide more mobility and range of discovery than an X-ray and may see tissues and underlying problems that X-rays may not pick up.