During pregnancy, a woman’s uterus will house and protect a developing fetus for about 9 months. Throughout the pregnancy, the development of the fetus can be monitored by routine ultrasounds. An ultrasound is a procedure that allows a physician to examine internal anatomy through the use of high-frequency sound waves.
A transducer is placed against the skin of the abdomen and gently moved around while it emits harmless sound waves into the body. The sound waves reflect, or echo, off structures within the abdomen, such as the fetus.
The sound wave signals are interpreted by a computer and displayed on a monitor. With these images, the physician can examine the fetus and evaluate the progress of its development.