Ultrasound in pregnancy

After the first ultrasound pregnancy examination, when we determine the gestational age and the date of delivery, the next ultrasound examination is performed from the 12-14 week of pregnancy. During this examination we again determine the gestational age, you can see the baby’s head, belly, arms, legs. The baby’s cervical fold is measured (NT), the presence of the nasal bone. This examination is important as the pregnant woman is advised to give blood for analyses after the examination for the purpose of a double test.

Double test has the purpose to determine mathematical risks for some of the fetal anomalies. It suits us to increase the certainty that in the genetic sense everything will be okay with the baby. Two hormones are taken from the blood (PAPP-A and free beta HCG) and in combination with ultrasound examination the risks are determined. If the findings are normal, regular monitoring of the pregnancy continues.

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If there are certain risks, after the ultrasound examination we can execute a triple or quadruple test. These tests are executed between 15 and 19 weeks of pregnancy. Triple test means that we determine values of three hormones (beta HCG, Alfa feto protein and Estriol).Quadruple test means results from the fourth hormone, Inhibin A, too. The Quadruple test is somewhat safer.

It is customary that the next ultrasound examination is performed between the 20 and 24 pregnancy weeks. Then we can see in more detail the baby’s anatomy, the skull, brain, face, neck, chest, heart, baby’s belly, inner organs, arms, legs and we can determine the gender of the baby. The state of the placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord can be seen.

The next ultrasound examination is executed between the 30 and 34 pregnancy weeks. We here again follow the baby status, organs, baby’s progress, body mass, state and amount of amniotic fluid and the age of the placenta.

Besides these classic ultrasound examinations we can execute examinations outside the above mentioned times.

A 4D ultrasound examination can also be performed. This examination enables us to look upon the baby three-dimensionally on the device of the highest quality. The fourth dimension is time, meaning that we observe the baby moving alive.

Ultrasound examinations enable us to increase the certainty and security that everything will be okay with the baby. However, the ultrasound examinations are not omnipotent, but they sure mean a lot in decreasing the risk for mother and the baby.