What is prenatal ultrasound (ultrasonography)?

In ultrasonography, or ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves are sent through your abdomen by a device called a transducer. The sound waves are recorded and changed into video or photographic images of your baby. The ultrasound can be used during pregnancy to show images of the amniotic sac, placenta, and ovaries.

The idea for ultrasonography came from sonar technology, which makes use of sound waves to detect underwater objects. Ultrasound might be used with other diagnostic procedures, such as amniocentesis, or by itself.

Are there any side effects to prenatal ultrasound?

Studies have shown ultrasound is not hazardous. There are no harmful side effects to you or your baby. In addition, ultrasound does not use radiation, as X-ray tests do.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy