Morphological Ultrasound – How and When to Do

This is usually one of the most magical moments of a pregnancy. In ultrasound exams we can see the baby inside the womb. And when we see it, we know that the baby is really there and that the pregnancy is real. During the months, the woman goes through a few different ultrasound sessions, and at least one of them is the so-called morphological ultrasound. But what is he really?

The ultrasound exam uses sound waves that echo through the body and come back in the form of images. It is very safe and recommended for all pregnant women. With it it is possible to detect problems such as placental detachment , malformation of the fetus or the maturity of the placenta . It also provides mom and dad with unforgettable scenes like the baby sucking his thumb or even discovering the baby’s sex.

Morphological Ultrasound – What is it for?

Morphological ultrasound is a variation of conventional ultrasound. It is usually done between the 11th and 14th week or the 20th and 24th week of pregnancy . At this stage, it is possible to see the entire fetus inside the uterus, more easily than in the following weeks and more clearly than in the previous weeks. Morphological ultrasound still shows in detail all the  baby’s internal organs , showing if there is a problem or if the baby’s development is going well.

Organs such as stomach, lung, heart, bladder and kidneys are visualized on morphological ultrasound. The exam also shows the presence of nasal bone and fifth phalanx (presence of the baby’s fifth finger). In addition, it is possible to make a detailed measurement of the veins and arteries of  the baby ‘s brain and heart .

Bones are also important points in morphological ultrasound, such as the baby’s cervical spine, femur, humerus and others. All are checked to see if the baby is developing correctly according to the weeks of gestation. See the ultrasound of a 21-week-old girl here :

Morphological ultrasound with Doppler

Some resources in addition to sound waves can be used in morphological ultrasound, such as doppler. The doppler checks the intensity of blood flow from the placenta to the baby and to your heart. Morphological ultrasound is also done to monitor and know the exact location and conditions of the placenta .

Most cases of placenta previa (at the entrance to the uterus) are diagnosed on this test, and this condition makes natural vaginal delivery impossible. The placenta can also be anterior or posterior, and it will be judged how mature it is .

Most doctors ask for a morphological ultrasound between the 20th and 24th weeks. One of the reasons is also the possible detection of Down syndrome by measuring the nuchal fold , the famous nuchal translucency . But most of the positives for this syndrome that are identified by measurement are false positives. This diagnosis is really positive in only 5% of cases.

If any other complications are detected on the morphological ultrasound, your obstetrician will order another specific exam to rule out or confirm the possible problem. There are appropriate tests to examine the baby’s heart, head and kidneys. There is even a specific exam to check for amniocentesis if you are suspected of having Down syndrome. Morphological ultrasound costs around R $ 200.00 and usually lasts 20 to 50 minutes.

It is good to prepare yourself to lie down for a long time on your back. If you feel discomfort, you can notify the doctor. For those who have already had a pregnancy, they know that this position can cause shortness of breath by compressing the abdomen and limiting breathing. If necessary, ask the ultrasound doctor for a break or a change of position.

Morphological Ultrasound Video

What is Possible to See on Morphological Ultrasound?

As we have already mentioned above, the morphological ultrasound examines the baby’s development in detail, which is not possible in other types of ultrasound. Measurements, structure and shape of the baby’s head are visible during the examination, as are all other bones.

The image of the baby’s face is also clearer on morphological ultrasound. So it is possible to check the baby’s features, as well as the existence of cleft lip or cleft lip. It is just not possible to check the cleft palate, which is the opening in the roof of the mouth, which is more difficult to analyze. .It is in this ultrasound that most mothers leave happy with “photos” of their baby, since through the 3D and 4D image it is possible to see their face perfectly.

In morphological ultrasound, the spine is examined in detail and it is possible to make sure that the bones are well aligned, correctly positioned and that the skin covers its entire length, reaching the butt area.

The heart is also carefully observed on morphological ultrasound. It is observed if your valves open and close correctly, following the heart beat. With the help of doppler it is possible to examine the main arteries and veins , which appear on the screen in different colors, blue and red.

The kidneys are also observed and if the urine is making the correct path of the bladder. The position of the placenta, the umbilical cord and its blood vessels are also analyzed with greater precision with the help of doppler. The amount of amniotic fluid will be measured, ensuring that the baby has the amount necessary to continue developing in a healthy way. Uterine arteries will also be checked, as altered blood flow may indicate a risk of high blood pressure.

Through all the measurements checked during the morphological ultrasound, it is possible to inform the baby’s weight and size. However, it is an estimate to check if everything is as expected until the day of delivery . It is important to remember that there may be a variation to more or less compared to other pregnancies.

Talking a little about my experience

When I was pregnant with Dudu, I had already had 3 ultrasounds and I could not see the sex of the baby. It was in the morphological ultrasound that we were able to see the tweet tweet and the bag of Dudu floating. The doctor who did the ultrasound suspected a placenta previa . I was referred for a more detailed examination with transvaginal ultrasound to see if the placenta was actually in the cervix. Fortunately there were no problems. To know the whole story watch here:

Melissa’s morphological ultrasound gave me the confirmation of being a girl and I saw the beats at 154bps. It showed the well-formed baby and an image that will never leave my memory, Melissa yawning and running her fingers over her ear. So, enjoy this moment a lot!

An important help during pregnancy are multivitamins. It is very common for women to get sick and eat properly, and it is sometimes difficult to even take some medications. For this reason, Famivita has developed a complete multivitamin for pregnant women called FamiGesta . Its capsules are very small, easy to ingest. In addition, it has all the essential vitamins and minerals in the correct amount for pregnancy and fetal development, such as folic acid, calcium, iron and more. You can purchase your FamiGesta here , in our online store.

Questions from Readers:

When is the right time to do the morphological ultrasound?

Morphological ultrasound is recommended between the 20th and the 24th week, as it is the ideal stage to identify possible syndromes. It is also possible to see the entire development of the baby, as well as malformations of the face, due to its sharpness of image.

What is the difference between normal and morphological ultrasound?

The difference with the morphological ultrasound is the quality of the image and the intensity of details that the exam can detect and evaluate, greater than the conventional ultrasound. As it is more complete, it is requested at a stage when it is really possible to analyze the baby’s total development.

See also: Reference table Fetus size and weight

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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