You look forward to the scanning during pregnancy because it gives a glimpse of your bundle of joy. But the main purpose of the scan is to check for growth and development of your baby. An otherwise wonderful experience may become a nightmare when the scan shows an abnormality which may mean that there could be a problem with your baby.
The practice of examining pregnant women using ultrasound is called obstetric sonography, and is widely used. In physics, ‘ultrasound’ refers to sound waves with a frequency too high for humans to hear. The sound reflects and echoes off parts of the tissue; this echo is recorded and displayed as an image to the operator.
It provides images in real-time (rather than after an acquisition or processing delay), it is portable and can be brought to a sick patient’s bedside, it is substantially lower in cost, and it does not use harmful ionizing radiation. Drawbacks of ultrasound sonography include various limits on its field of view including difficulty imaging structures behind bone, and its relative dependence on a skilled operator.
Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate had thrown the focus on female foeticide and had quite an impact. Various state government had taken various steps to fight this menace. The Haryana government has announced that pregnant women will have to submit a photocopy of their identification proof at ultrasound centres as a pre-condition for undergoing the test and there are plans to embed observer chips in ultrasound machines.