Ultrasounds month by month: calendar of ultrasound scans in pregnancy at 4, 6, 8, 12 weeks. Which are free and what are the costs of ultrasound examinations
Ultrasounds month by month
Ultrasound is one of the most important tests to do during the nine months of gestation and allows you to date the pregnancy, understand if the fetus is growing as it should, if there are abnormalities in the placenta and amniotic fluid, but also allow you to discover the sex of the baby and its position in the uterus. But what are the month-by-month ultrasound scans to do during pregnancy and how to program them?
In this article
Ultrasound calendar month by month
First, how is the ultrasound performed? The woman is made to lie on her stomach and only her abdomen is uncovered. The examination is carried out thanks to a trans-abdominal probe which, placed on the belly in correspondence with the uterus, allows you to view the fetus inside it. In special cases (for example when the pregnancy is in the very first weeks), it may be necessary to do an internal trans-vaginal ultrasound. The woman is then placed in the gynecological position and the probe is inserted into the vagina.
L’ultrasound in pregnancy does not hurt: it is an exam painless for the mother and free from side effects for the baby which allows the doctor to perform more accurate and precise prenatal investigations.
Generally, the ultrasound calendar includes:
- first ultrasound at 6-8 weeks;
- second ultrasound at 20 weeks;
- the morphological ultrasound that is done around the 21st-21st week;
- the last ultrasound that is done around the thirtieth week.
Ultrasound calendar during pregnancy
The ultrasound scans to do during pregnancy are included in the indispensable tests to be carried out and, in number of three, are “offered” by the National Health Service, that is, they are not paid if they are done in public facilities with the request of your doctor. There are therefore three that the National Health System (SSN) guarantees in this period: one within the first quarter, a second, the “morphological” one, between the 20th-22nd week and one, between the 30th / 32nd week, for the evaluation of fetal growth.
The calendar, therefore, it will be structured as follows:
- obstetric ultrasound of the first trimester (by the 12th week)
- second-trimester obstetric ultrasound or morphological ultrasound (between 20 and 23 weeks)
- third-trimester obstetric ultrasound (between 32 and 34 weeks)
Let’s see in more detail what the ultrasound performed in the different weeks is for.
Ultrasound in pregnancy at 2 weeks
Generally you have to wait for the first ones six to eight weeks to schedule the first ultrasound. While theembryo it nestles inside the egg and the little heart is formed and begins to beat a few weeks must pass from the moment of conception. It is useless, therefore, to make aultrasound at 2 weeks because you would see nothing but a gestational chamber in formation, while the first ultrasound is mainly used to date the pregnancy, to verify that there is a heartbeat and that the embryo is well implanted.
Ultrasound in pregnancy at 4 weeks
Again it is definitely too early to do an ultrasound because you would see little or nothing. The operator carrying out the examination must be able to see the embryo to measure it and be able to date the pregnancy, in order to understand when it was conceived and how it was implanted in the uterus.
Ultrasound in pregnancy at 6 weeks
When you get around the sixth-seventh week of pregnancy you are already more likely to be able to see the beat of the baby, the embryo, the yolk sac and the gestational chamber. In some cases, future parents will be able to hear their baby’s heartbeat. However to make sure you can really see something and to ensure that first ultrasound, which is a very important test in order to understand if the pregnancy has started well, it can really be useful it would be advisable to wait at least until the eighth week before doing it.
Ultrasound in pregnancy 12 weeks
This is certainly the deadline to do the first ultrasound which must be carried out by the end of first quarter.
Within 12th week of pregnancy there are already the sketches of all the organs and of the various parts of the body of the unborn child. During this ultrasound, we check if the pregnancy is single or twin, the regularity of the fetal heartbeat, and some measurements of the baby in formation are made.
In couples who wish it, thanks to ultrasound, a further non-invasive control can be carried out for some chromosomal pathologies, mainly for Down syndrome, thanks to the evaluation of nuchal translucency. It is a fold of fat that is located behind the baby’s head, in the region of the nape, in fact, between the spine and the skin, whose thickness is measured. The correlation between this and other parameters, mainly age, makes it possible to calculate a risk index, with a certainty of about 80%, on the basis of which it is decided whether to resort toamniocentesis, an invasive test that offers, however, the almost absolute certainty of the result in terms of …