Some of the most exciting moments of any pregnancy are the ultrasounds – a chance to see your baby developing inside of you! But why on earth do we have to experience the cold, sticky, gooey sensation whenever we have an ultrasound? Sonographers are not trying to torture us by applying the cold gel to our skin before the procedure; it is in fact necessary in order to produce the best results for the ultrasound scan.
Why Do We Need It?
Ultrasound gel is a conductive medium that creates a bond between the skin and the ultrasound transducer. The ultrasound sound waves have a hard time traveling through air, so the gel prevents any extra air space between the probe and your skin in order to create a clear image of the fetus. This is why mothers are also asked to come to their ultrasound with a full bladder in early pregnancy. Between your full bladder and the ultrasound gel working as a coupling agent, the technologist will be able to display a clear image of your baby.
What Exactly Is This Stuff?
The next time you cringe the moment the gel touches your skin; just think that more gel produces better results! The gel is composed of water and propylene glycol and is formulated to reduce overall static. Many people notice that the gel tends to be thick and sticky, however, it needs to have a sticky texture so that it does not drip off of your skin when the sonographer is performing the ultrasound.
Why Does It Have To Be So Cold?
The most common complaint about ultrasound gel isn’t how sticky it is, but instead how cold it is! This can easily be combated by using a gel warmer before the procedure. Next time you go in you go in for an ultrasound, ask the sonographer to warm up the gel. There are many types of ultrasound gels available, including hypoallergenic varieties