How Many Ultrasounds Are Needed During Pregnancy?

Ultrasound scans or sonography employs high-frequency sound waves to create images of a person’s internal body structure. It is a safe, non-invasive technology that informs the doctor what is happening inside your body.


Ultrasound Examinations During Pregnancy


Ultrasound examinations during pregnancy are safe. They do not produce any ionizing radiation as with X-rays. Hence, they are highly unlikely to cause any lasting harm to your developing fetus. They are done for evaluating fetal growth and development, making it possible to detect any problems or abnormalities.


The doctor uses an ultrasound to check the position and age of the fetus as part of the routine checkups. Research shows that multiple ultrasound examinations are safe for both mother and child.


How Many Ultrasounds Do You Need?


Doctors need ultrasounds to monitor the growth and development of the baby. To prepare you for these vital scans, here is a breakdown.


Early Pregnancy Examination


The first early pregnancy examination happens at six to eight weeks. It is not for everyone. However, doctors conduct it for high-risk pregnancies. These are pregnancies with abdominal pain and bleeding. They are also crucial in cases with a history of miscarriages or congenital abnormalities.


The doctor can see the baby’s heartbeat, predict the due date, and track milestones. They can also determine how many babies you are carrying and whether it is an ectopic pregnancy.


Dating Examination


A dating ultrasound examination is ideal if you do not get the first ultrasound. It happens between 10 and 13 weeks. It gives parents the same type of information as the early pregnancy examination.


Nuchal Transparency Examination


This happens between 14 to 20 weeks. It checks for Down syndrome, heart defects, and other chromosomal abnormalities. If you are 35 years or older, you need to get this ultrasound examination. It is also crucial if the first two tests revealed any potential problems.


The doctor uses this ultrasound examination to gauge the thickness at the back of the baby’s neck. Thicker necks indicate a risk for congenital abnormalities. The doctor will also use a blood test to measure the proteins and hormones.


Anatomy Scan

An anatomy scan is a detailed ultrasound. It happens between 18 to 20 weeks. It provides the most comprehensive checkup for your baby before birth. The doctor checks the baby’s heart rate, examines the placenta, and measures the amniotic fluid level.


They will also check for abnormalities in their heart, brain, liver, and kidneys. They will count the fingers and the toes and check for congenital abnormalities. You can also get to know your baby’s sex during this scan.


Third Trimester Examination


You may not need this scan. However, it is crucial for high-risk pregnancies. The scan is for reassurance, and the doctor uses low resolutions.


Doppler Ultrasound


The Doppler ultrasound determines whether your baby is getting enough blood. It bounces sound waves off circulating red blood cells to measure blood flow and blood pressure.


There are many other pregnancy ultrasounds. How many you need will depend on your situation during pregnancy. Ultrasounds are safe, so you can get as many as you require to confirm that your baby is okay.


For more information on ultrasounds during pregnancy, contact Partners in Obstetrics & Women’s Health at our office in New Lenox, Illinois. You can call (815) 240-0554 today to schedule an appointment.

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