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A Doppler ultrasound study – a technique that evaluates blood flow in the umbilical cord, fetus or placenta – may be part of this exam. Since only your lower abdominal area needs to be exposed for this exam, you may want to wear a loose-fitting, two-piece outfit. Ultrasound imaging is also called ultrasound scanning or sonography.
It uses a small probe called a transducer and gel placed directly on the skin.
One or more frames of the moving pictures are typically captured as still images. The movement of the embryo or fetus and his or her heartbeat can be seen as an ongoing ultrasound movie.
Ultrasound devices also use Doppler, a special application of ultrasound, which processes echoes produced by blood flowing through the fetal heart, blood vessels and umbilical cord and turns them into audible sound.
The technologist applies a small amount of gel to the area under examination and places the transducer there.
The gel allows sound waves to travel back and forth between the transducer and the area under examination.
Only the lower abdominal area needs to be exposed during this procedure.
When a sound wave strikes an object, it bounces back, or echoes.
By measuring these echo waves, it is possible to determine how far away the object is as well as the object's size, shape and consistency.
The radiologist or sonographer may elect to examine an early pregnancy by means of transvaginal ultrasound in order to see the pregnancy more closely or to assess the cervix.
Ultrasound scanners consist of a computer console, video display screen and an attached transducer.