Ultrasound uses "sound waves" of extremely high frequency to detect any abnormalities in the developing fetus inside the uterus. It creates an image by transmitting sound waves of high frequency on internal organs and tissues, of pregnant women. This creates a flat, two dimensional digital image on the computer of a three dimensional developing fetus.
The image can confirm the presence of twins or triplets and can also be used to determine the sex of the baby. Ultrasonography, as the procedure is known, is safe for pregnant women as it does not use ionizing radiations, which are harmful to the brain of developing fetus.
The second trimester ultrasound also known as "morphological scan" is used to determine any abnormality in the developing fetus. It is also used to confirm the sex of the child. But how accurate is second trimester ultrasound results? The answer is that like any other prenatal test, ultrasound results are not always correct. The effectiveness of ultrasound depends greatly on the quality of equipment used and the knowledge of the sonographer handling that instrument. To some extent the accuracy of ultrasound results also depends on method adopted in doing the ultrasound.
Ultrasound results are not always 100 percent accurate. There are "false positive" results (where the developing fetus may be diagnosed with some abnormality) and false "negative results" (where the ultrasound image appear normal but the developing fetus does have some deformity). Sex determination done through ultrasound gives accurate results only after 12 weeks of gestation.Research has shown that ultrasound scans only 74 percent of birth defects, and possibly higher percentage, if it is performed by a person who has received special training in the use of ultrasonography. In addition, the skilled of the technician, the place where ultrasound is performed and the efficiency of the machine plays a major role in the accuracy of ultrasound results.
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