An ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce images of the uterus that can be viewed on a monitor in the doctor’s office. A gel is spread on the lower abdominal area and a handpiece is moved across the gelled area to produce the images. An ultrasound is most effective when performed on a full bladder. The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to perform.
This procedure is performed regularly throughout pregnancy in order to monitor the growth and development of the fetus, and can also identify the sex of the child and detect any birth defects or other major problems.