What is OB/GYN Sonography?
Obstetrical and gynecological sonography, commonly referred to as OB/GYN ultrasound, is a diagnostic imaging modality specialty. Sonography obtains images of internal organs by sending sound waves into the body. The sound waves are reflected by internal structures and are returned as echoes. The echoes are then recorded and displayed as real-time visual images.
Obstetrical (OB) sonography refers to the use of ultrasound to visualize and determine the condition of a pregnant woman and her fetus. From the time of its development in the late 1950’s sonography has become a very useful diagnostic tool in Obstetrics.
Gynecological (GYN) sonography refers to the use of ultrasound to visualize organs found within the female pelvis such as the uterus and ovaries.
Why are OB/GYN Sonograms performed?
An OB sonogram is one of the more well-known uses of sonography: examining the fetus of a pregnant woman. Ultrasound examinations are currently considered to be a safe, non-invasive, accurate and cost-effective investigation of the fetus. It has progressively become an indispensable obstetric tool and plays an important role in the care of every pregnant woman. This examination has many indications, such as: to evaluate the position of the fetus, diagnose congenital abnormalities, and to determine if there are multiple pregnancies, etc. This exam is special, because it allows parents to have their first “glimpse” of their unborn child. OB ultrasound can be used in the early diagnosis and confirmation of pregnancy. Later in pregnancy fetal body measurements will allow assessment of the size and growth of the fetus and will greatly assist in the diagnosis and management of any potential abnormalities occurring with the pregnancy. The measurements are used in the assessment of gestational age and evaluate the size and growth of the fetus.
A GYN sonogram evaluates organs found within the female pelvic region. A GYN sonogram can help identify ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, as well as any ovarian or uterine masses. A pelvic sonogram can be done transabdominal and transvaginal/ endovaginal. Transvaginal ultrasound is performed very much like a gynecologic exam and involves the insertion of the transducer into the vagina after the patient empties their bladder. A transvaginal ultrasound is usually performed to view the endometrium or the lining of the uterus, including its appearance, thickness, and the ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound also provides a detailed image of the muscular walls of the uterus, called the myometrium, for evaluation. The OB/GYN track is taught in conjunction with the abdominal track in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Montgomery College.
For more information on earning potential and work environment of sonographers visit the Inside Scoop.
The International's Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology (ISUOG) exists to encourage the effective exchange of research information and to promote education on ultrasound within the field of obstetrics and gynecology.
The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) was founded in 1970 to promote, advance, and educate its members and the medical community in the science of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) promotes quality care and patient safety through the certification and continuing competency of ultrasound professionals.
The mission of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS) and its sponsoring organizations is to cooperate to establish, maintain, and promote appropriate standards of quality for educational programs in diagnostic medical sonography and to provide recognition for educational programs that meet or exceed the standards.
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the largest programmatic/specialized accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2000 educational programs in twenty-one health science occupations across the United States and Canada.
Back to Top