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Ultrasound Myths and Facts

Aug 17, 2007
Childbirth has been a long time mystery, from conception and fetal development to labor and delivery. Since ancient times, guessing the gender of a developing baby was a sort of divinatory activity mixed with superstitions.

Today, ultrasound makes it possible find to out the gender of the fetus as early as 16 to 20 weeks. However, is not only a matter of guessing a baby's sex, but a useful tool to find developmental problems that can be corrected opportunely, including preventing miscarriages.

An ultrasound scan to determine the sex of your baby is not a matter of "back luck" as many people fear. It is unbelievable that people feel anxiety when it comes to ultrasound studies to diagnose more than fetal gender.

With modern equipment, diagnosis of the fetus can be obtained nearly by the 11th week of pregnancy. However, the sonographer could not find enough evidence to determine the sex of the baby since the absence of a penis is not enough to determine the baby is a girl during the first trimester of pregnancy.

During week 20, diagnosis of fetal gender is about 95% to 100% accurate. However, is the early gestational stage which is the time when an ultrasound scan is able to find a problem in your reproductive system or potential harm to your baby can be discovered.

Contrary to the myth, ultrasound is a completely painless diagnose method that uses sound waves to retrieve a picture of the inside of your body, usually performed in a hospital X-ray department by means of a microphone linked to a computer.

An ultrasound scan reflects your inner sound waves into a picture, and there is no need for special preparation prior to scanning. Full undressing is determined by the part of your body to be scanned, but in pregnancy this is not necessary.

The amount of time needed for the scan varies in relation to the study to be performed. Determine the fetus gender rarely takes more than 5 minutes, while reviewing the development of your pregnancy may take about half an hour.

It is not true either that what you are seeing on the screen is a deteriorated condition of your body. Only a doctor, radiographer or sonographer is able to understand the ultrasound waves so if you see them unclear that is not sign of something wrong.

Anxiety is often present after your ultrasound scan, because results are immediate, but it might take some time before your doctor or any other specialist can analyze the scan to let your know what the ultrasound is revealing, whether your baby's sex or a pregnancy condition to be treated or prevented.
About the Author
For more information about ultrasounds and fetal development information you can check out
fetaldevelopment.org.uk
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