Fetal Echocardiography is a test similar to an ultrasound. This exam allows your doctor to better see the structure and function of your unborn child's heart. It's typically done in the second trimester, between weeks 18 to 24. The exam uses sound waves that "echo" off the structures of the fetus's heart.
What is Fetal Echo?
Fetal echocardiography (echo) is a test that shows pictures of a baby’s heart before birth. The pictures are formed using mild sound waves. This is called ultrasound.
The test checks for problems in the baby’s heart structure, function, or rhythm. Finding these heart problems before birth means that they can be managed early. This may also help in planning for what to do after birth. Many heart problems can be found with fetal echo. But some can’t be seen until after the baby is born.
The test is painless. Nothing is put into your body. In rare cases, the ultrasound may need to be done in the vagina with a special wand. This may be the case very early in a pregnancy.