Pregnancy ultrasound

Pregnancy ultrasound

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Credit: MICHAEL DONNE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pregnancy ultrasound. Sonographer pointing at the ultrasound scan (on display screen) of a pregnant woman's unborn child. A transducer (not seen) is being used to scan the woman's swollen abdomen. It emits high-frequency sound waves and detects the reflected echoes. The results are used to build the image on the screen. This safe, non-invasive method is used routinely in pregnancy to assess the growth and health of the developing foetus, and detect any abnormalities. This is a standard anomaly scan, carried out when the mother is 20 weeks pregnant. The detection of a serious anomaly at this stage (halfway through pregnancy), allows surgery or a termination to be considered.

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