Fetal echocardiography is a test that is similar to ultrasound. This test helps the doctors in assessing the structure and the functioning of the heart of the unborn child. This test is usually done in the second trimester of pregnancy (18 to 24 weeks). It also helps the doctor in seeing the blood flow through the heart of the fetus, and diagnosing abnormalities in the flow of blood and the heartbeat.
Why get tested?
Pregnant women are recommended this test in case previous tests weren’t conclusive or if abnormal heartbeat is detected in the fetus. Apart from this, this test is also done for the following reasons:
In case the doctor feels that the fetus is risk of heart abnormality.
Women who have a family history of heart diseases.
In case a woman has already given birth to a child with a heart condition.
In case of use of drug or alcohol during pregnancy.
In case the pregnant women are subjected to medicines that can cause heart defects.
In case the pregnant women is suffering from or have a family history of certain medical diseases such as rubella, type 1 diabetes, phenylketonuria, or lupus.
This test includes
Ultrasound Fetal Echocardiography
There no special precautions that needs to be exercised before the fetal echocardiography test. Unlike other prenatal ultrasound tests, pregnant women are not required to have a full bladder before the test. The test takes anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours to perform.