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      What Is a Doppler Scan? Discover the Risks Involved & Why Is It Important for You?

      Scans & Tests

      What Is a Doppler Scan? Discover the Risks Involved & Why Is It Important for You?

      Updated on 3 November 2023

      Pregnancy is a joy ride all along because you know that there is a whole life inside you. Scans are the best way to understand how your baby is and what is your little one doing inside you. Your gynecologist will suggest your multiple scans from time to time. One of those scans would be a Doppler Scan. Doppler scans can assess blood flow speed and direction. This information can help determine if fetal growth is normal and if the tissues receive enough blood and nutrients.

      Your doctor will apply a gel to a transducer and rub it gently all over your belly. By doing this, an image of your baby is created on the computer screen in real-time!

      How many times is a Doppler Scan done?

      Twice. The first one during the first trimester is to give you a due date, count the number of babies inside you, check for your baby's heartbeat, and determine growth. The second one is done in the second trimester to check for any kind of physical abnormalities.

      When are Doppler Scans most recommended?

      Doppler scans are recommended if:

      • You are carrying twins or more

      • You have a low or high body mass index (BMI)

      • Medical conditions such as diabetes and high BP.

      • The baby is affected by rhesus antibodies.

      • The baby’s growth rate is low.

      • Cases of previous miscarriage, premature baby, or failed pregnancies multiple times.

      • You smoke.

      • You have Placental complications.

      • Your baby is suffering from Slapped Cheek Disease

      Types of Doppler Scans

      Continuous Wave Doppler

      The speed of the blood flow and the velocity is measured with the continuous wave doppler.

      Duplex doppler

      The sonographer can get a complete image of the blood vessels and blood flow.

      Color doppler

      It's quite similar to the duplex doppler but gives a bigger and colorful image of blood flow through tissues, organs, blood vessels, and their surrounding areas.

      Power doppler

      The sonographer can measure the flow of the blood and how it passes to the other organs of the body from the umbilical cord to the baby.

      How to prepare for a Doppler Scan?

      There is no specific preparation needed for a doppler scan. It is just like any other ultrasound. Smokers must abstain from smoking or using nicotine-containing products two hours before the scan. According to the American Heart Association, nicotine causes blood vessels to contract, leading to a misleading diagnosis of pathological constriction. Wear loose-fitting clothing to the clinic and remain hydrated.

      You may also like:


      1. anusz Jezewski et al. (2011). A novel technique for fetal heart rate estimation from Doppler ultrasound signal. NCBI
      2. Ji Young Kwon and In Yang Park. Fetal heart rate monitoring: from Doppler to computerized analysis. NCBI
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      Written by

      Charu Pratap

      Charu has been a seasoned corporate professional with over a decade of experience in Human Resource Management. She has managed the HR function for start-ups as well as established companies. But aside from her corporate career she was always fond of doing things with a creative streak. She enjoys gardening and writing and is an experienced content expert and linguist. Her own experiences with motherhood and raising a baby made her realize the importance of reliable and fact-based parenting information. She was engaged in creating content for publishing houses, research scholars, corporates as well as for her own blog.

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