Obstetrical ultrasound provides pictures of an embryo or fetus within a woman’s uterus, as well as the mother’s uterus and ovaries. A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of an obstetrical ultrasound examination.

During an obstetrical ultrasound the examiner may evaluate blood flow in the umbilical cord or may, in some cases, assess blood flow in the fetus or placenta.

Obstetrical ultrasound is a useful clinical test to:

  • establish the presence of a living embryo/fetus
  • estimate the age of the pregnancy
  • diagnose congenital abnormalities of the fetus
  • evaluate the position of the fetus
  • evaluate the position of the placenta
  • determine if there are multiple pregnancies
  • determine the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby
  • check for opening or shortening of the cervix
  • assess fetal growth
  • assess fetal well-being