Table of contents:
- When Can You Check Yourself with 3D Ultrasound?
- How is the 3D Ultrasound Examination Procedure?
- Is 3D Ultrasound Safe?
- 4 Dimensional Ultrasound at a glance
When undergoing an obstetrical examination, pregnant women often require an ultrasound examination. Now there is a 3-dimensional ultrasound which is considered more sophisticated and has more advantages over ordinary ultrasound
Basically, 3-dimensional (3D) ultrasound and ordinary ultrasound (ultrasonography) or 2-dimensional ultrasound both use sound waves to produce images. However, 3-dimensional ultrasound uses more sophisticated machines and software, so the resulting image looks more detailed and clear.
With the 3D ultrasound generated images, you can clearly see the shape of the face, body, organs, and legs of the fetus, even what he is doing.
In addition, in he alth checks, 3D ultrasound can make it easier for doctors to detect fetal disorders that are difficult or undetectable by 2D ultrasound, such as cleft lip or birth defects.
However, the purpose of a 3D ultrasound is no different from a 2D ultrasound, namely:
- Determining gestational age
- Detect the number of fetuses in the womb or detect multiple pregnancies
- Evaluate fetal growth during pregnancy by monitoring fetal movement and heart rate
- Evaluating the condition of the placenta and amniotic fluid
- Checking the baby's position before delivery
- Detect whether there are abnormalities in the placenta, such as placenta previa
- Detect the presence of an abnormal pregnancy, such as a grape pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus)
- Looking for the cause of complaints during pregnancy, for example vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain
When Can You Check Yourself with 3D Ultrasound?
The best time to do an obstetrical examination with a 3-dimensional ultrasound is when the gestational age is 26-30 weeks.
Doing a 3D ultrasound at less than 26 weeks of gestation may not help much to show the baby's body and face, because the baby hasn't grown big enough to be examined with a 3-dimensional ultrasound.
Although it can provide better image quality, 3D ultrasound pregnancy tests are so far only an additional examination. This means that 3D ultrasound does not need to be used routinely for every obstetrical examination.
If there is no 3D ultrasound at the he alth facility where you checked your womb, the doctor can still perform a regular ultrasound to evaluate the he alth condition of you and the fetus in the womb.However, if you want to do a 3D ultrasound, you can consult a doctor to find out when is the best time to do it.
How is the 3D Ultrasound Examination Procedure?
The 3D ultrasound examination process is not so different from 2D ultrasound. Initially, the doctor will ask the pregnant woman to lie down on the examination bed first. After that, the doctor will apply a special gel on the pregnant woman's stomach.
When the gel has been applied, the doctor will then attach the ultrasound transducer to the abdomen. A transducer is a device that sends sound waves to the uterus and fetus so that the ultrasound machine can produce the desired image.
This procedure usually lasts only a few minutes and is painless. Just like in 2D ultrasound, patients can print and take home the results of 3D ultrasound images. The doctor will also notify the patient if any he alth problems are detected during the examination.
Is 3D Ultrasound Safe?
Because 3D ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation or X-rays to produce images, this procedure is relatively safe for pregnant women. So far, there has been no research that states that routine pregnancy ultrasound can increase the risk of he alth problems for pregnant women and fetuses.
Nevertheless, it is still necessary to consider doing an ultrasound examination, either a normal pregnancy ultrasound or other types of ultrasound, based on the recommendation of the doctor conducting the examination. Without a clear medical reason and doctor's recommendation, 3D ultrasound should not be done.
4 Dimensional Ultrasound at a glance
In addition to 3D ultrasound, now there is also a 4D ultrasound machine. The fundamental difference between 3D ultrasound and 4D ultrasound is the resulting image. In 3D or 2D ultrasound, the resulting image is only a photo (still image). While on 4D ultrasound, you can see the fetus in video form.
Despite having different results, both 2D, 3D, and 4D ultrasound, both use sound waves to produce images of organs or fetuses in the womb.
However, the problem is, there are still not many he alth care facilities in Indonesia that provide facilities to perform a 4D ultrasound examination, as well as a 3D ultrasound.
Although 3D and 4D ultrasound machines are available, it does not mean that 2D ultrasound is no longer needed for obstetrical examinations. 2D ultrasound remains a part of routine obstetrical examination procedures, because the safety and accuracy of the results have been proven, as well as because the costs are more affordable.
If you want to do an ultrasound examination, be it 2-dimensional ultrasound, 3-dimensional ultrasound, or 4-dimensional, first consult with your obstetrician. The doctor will suggest the type of ultrasound examination that suits your needs and condition.