Doctors advise to most pregnant women have an ultrasound at around 20 weeks.
Medical experts call this an anatomy or morphology scan. this procedure reveals a lot about the fetus’s health and development. 20 week pregnancy ultrasound also indicate certain health risks to the woman and help inform decisions about the delivery.
What to expect in 20 week pregnancy ultrasound?
20 week pregnancy ultrasound provides a way to see the fetus, the uterus, and some other relevant structures, using sound waves.
Doctors, Medical professionals, or technicians can perform the scan. In this procedure, they use a handheld device called a transducer to send the sound waves into the abdomen. The waves then bounce off the fetus and surrounding structures, and the returning waves form an image, which is visible on a monitor.
The image is not only a photo, and it may not be very detailed. The goal of this ultrasound is to provide basic but essential information about the fetus’s shape, development, and overall health.
Process of 20 week pregnancy ultrasound
The pregnant woman lies on an examination table, and the doctor, medical expert or technician squeezes gel onto the woman’s bare abdomen. They then move the transducer around the area and check the returning images on the monitor.
For some parts of the ultrasound, the pregnant woman may need to have a full bladder, which can make the pictures clearer. If this happens, the medical expert or doctor will perform these parts of the scan first, then take a break so that the pregnant woman can use the bathroom.
A medical expert or doctor may also recommend a vaginal ultrasound to provide a better image. This process involves inserting a thin transducer into the vagina, and it requires the pregnant woman to undress from the waist down.
Safety in 20-week pregnancy ultrasound
20 week pregnancy ultrasounds are safe; there is no evidence that they harm the fetus. However, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists caution that because we cannot know everything about the possible effects, a woman should only have this type of scan when it is medically necessary.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also warn that nonmedical, or keepsake, ultrasounds may not be safe. They are often performed in nonclinical settings.
What you can see in 20 week pregnancy ultrasound?
During a traditional 20-week pregnancy ultrasound, the doctor examines the fetus’s major organs and systems. The goal of this procedure is to ensure that the heart, brain, skull, kidneys, bones, hands, and feet are developing as usual and that the fetus is the right size for its stage of development.
Also, they can check on the:
- A number of fetuses
- Sex of baby
- The health of the pregnancy
- Fetal heart rate
Difference between 3D and 4D 20 week pregnancy ultrasounds
Both ultrasounds show the fetus in more detail, but the basic difference is the following:
3D pregnancy ultrasounds send sound waves from many angles and use them to create a composite image, while 4D pregnancy ultrasounds work similarly but also allow viewers to see detailed movement.
Compared with the traditional 2D scan, a 3D or 4D ultrasound can show more body parts, fine details of the fetus’s face and its expression, as well as movement, such as thumb-sucking.
Sometimes, a doctor or expert requests a 3D or 4D pregnancy ultrasound if they cannot see certain areas clearly in 2D or if they suspect a complication.
The 20-week pregnancy ultrasound provides a lot of information about a developing fetus and the health of the baby.
It is not a perfect diagnostic tool, but It cannot detect all congenital disabilities, and sometimes it gives misleading information also. A doctor or medical expert may not be able to see all body parts or they may recognize an issue that, on a later scan, turns out to be nothing.
It is very important to understand the full purpose of the 20 week pregnancy ultrasound and to ask questions to your doctors. If any questions remain, or if the scan reveals potential problems, a follow-up appointment with the doctor is necessary.