Fetal echocardiography is a form of ultrasound that is used to specifically evaluate the baby’s heart health. Fetal echocardiography is typically done during the second trimester, between 18 to 24 weeks. The soundwaves enable the physician to find abnormalities in the heart, blood flow, or heartbeat.
Your doctor might recommend this procedure if you have a family history of heart disease or other medical conditions. Other reasons why you might consider getting fetal echocardiography is because of medications, abnormal genetic screening, and previous children with heart-related problems.
It’s important to detect any heart defects as early as possible so your family can prepare for proper delivery arrangements. Because it is hard to detect heart defects, sometimes fetal echocardiography can be inconclusive. This is why your doctor might recommend you be tested a couple of times.
Fetal echocardiography does not have dangerous side effects. Unlike other prenatal ultrasounds, you will not need to drink water for the test. It can take up from 30 minutes to one hour.