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The use of 3d and 4d ultrasounds

Updated on March 12, 2012
3d Pregnancy Images
3d Pregnancy Images
3d 16 Weeks Gestation
3d 16 Weeks Gestation

We are social beings and we like to see people, meet them and bond with them. Until a few years back, parents to be had to wait for the whole 9 months to meet their darling baby. Not anymore, today 3d ultrasounds and 4d ultrasounds let you meet and bond with your baby far ahead of the delivery day.

3d 20 weeks gestation
3d 20 weeks gestation

All pregnancy scans whether 2d, 3d or 4d use high frequency sound waves that are directed at the uterus and the fetal image is reconstructed from the waves that are reflected back.

3d ultrasounds and 4d ultrasounds use waves sent at different angles and use complex computational devices to generate a 3d picture of the baby. 4d ultrasounds offer the added advantage of real time images which can then offer you a peek at mundane yet awe inspiring activities like yawning, scratching, smiling.

Currently medical practitioners are divided over the advisability of having frequent pregnancy scans. However no evidence has yet been uncovered as to any harmful effects from having the 3d ultrasound scan done once a month.

Moreover the benefits of having a 3d ultrasound scan abound. Compared to the 3d and 4d ultrasound scan the 2d ultrasound scans are reported to be much more efficient at detecting any fetal abnormalities.

Given the increasingly clear and three dimensional images generated from a 3d ultrasound any outer sort of physical deformity can be detected with greater accuracy earlier in the pregnancy.

2d and 3d 20 week ultrasounds
2d and 3d 20 week ultrasounds

2d scans can also be used to determine a possible danger of preterm delivery for females indicated by other factors to be at high risk group for preterm delivery. 2d ultrasounds by the virtue of being real time and can provide highly valuable movement specific information such as any abnormalities in the dynamic structure of the spinal cord , fetal heart and kidney function, fetal activity levels, muscles tone all of which can aid in discovering any neural or musculoskeletal defect. 3d and 4d ultrasounds cannot provide this information indicating even more that 3d and 4d ultrasounds are more for the enjoyment of the parents than for diagnostic purposes.

Apart from all these clinical advantages of getting a 3d ultrasound or a 4d ultrasound, these scans can also bring some invaluable meeting and bonding time. Who wants to wait the whole 9 months to meet their baby?

These advanced pregnancy scans will offer you the chance to meet your baby and see your baby in far greater detail. You and your partner can have an early peek in and start discussing who your baby looks like. You will get to know if you need to buy baby boy blue attires or baby girl pink accessories. You and your partner can bond with your moving, smiling, hicupping baby boy or girl far before the demands of sleeplessness and diaper changes begin to plague you.

Pregnancy scans can be done anytime during the pregnancy but most hospitals will advise an early scan at 12 to 13.4 weeks to take a look at the nuchal fold and the tiny heart and a later scan at 20 weeks to take a look at all the physical structures of the fetus.

3d ultrasound 28 - 32 weeks
3d ultrasound 28 - 32 weeks

The 3d and 4d ultrasound is best done 28 – 32 weeks as by then your baby would be big enough and still be high up in your uterus so as to get good keepsake images for you.

Scanning later would mean lesser amniotic fluid meaning you wouldn't get as good an image when more of the fluid is present. Later scans would also mean that your baby is bigger and has lesser space to move around or has already started it's descend into the pelvis making a 4d scan not so filled with fun activities that you can observe and the 3d scan hindered by your pelvic bones.

Nevertheless if you are anxious and want to have a gender prediction done for you as early as possible, the scans can be done as early as 15 weeks. A scan at this early has only 50% predictive powers however wait until 20 weeks and you could have your baby's gender predicted with up to 99% accuracy.


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    • CZCZCZ profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon

      These ultrascans are amazing. A good friend had one done and it was so cool to see the little guy before we got to meet him.

    • mreynolds4 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I am an ultrasound technologist for over 22 years specializing in OB/Gyn.

      Most of my patients can't wait to find out the gender of their baby so that they can start buying blue, pink or nowadays, lavender has been added as well as an array of other colors.

      Dads are ready to start painting and moms can't wait to start buying clothing.

      It's a great feeling to scan healthy babies and bring joy to the parents.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      This hub is a good, clear lesson on ultrasound options for pregnant women. The one thing I was not clear about was why the sex of a baby would affect the choice of the colors of his/her clothes. I like the pictures. Are they from a pregnancy textbook?


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