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All In regards to the 20-Week Anatomy Scan

An ultrasound is really helpful throughout being pregnant between 18 and 22 weeks gestation. The anatomy scan can be known as a stage 2 ultrasound and is an imaging check that enables a well being care supplier to fastidiously test your child’s well being and growth.

Whereas you will have had earlier ultrasounds throughout your being pregnant, the 20-week anatomy scan appears in higher element on the totally different elements of your child’s physique. Usually, a well being care supplier will study the newborn’s complete physique, together with their organs, umbilical twine, and amniotic fluid ranges.

Right here is a few extra details about what may happen throughout your anatomy scan, what well being care suppliers have a look at, and what sure findings may imply.

Photograph © Mix Photos/Getty Photos

What to Count on Through the 20 Week Anatomy Scan

A well being care supplier’s workplace will schedule your anatomy scan to happen someday round 20 weeks into your being pregnant. You may be requested to come back to the appointment with a full bladder, which helps the ultrasound tech get a greater picture of your child. Sometimes, you possibly can carry one different individual to the ultrasound with you.

The anatomy scan is usually a transabdominal ultrasound, that means the ultrasound tech will use a wand in your abdomen, versus a transvaginal ultrasound within the first trimester. An ultrasound sometimes follows these steps:

  1. To start the anatomy scan, the ultrasound technician (or in some instances your physician) can have you lie down on the examination desk.
  2. Subsequent, an ultrasonic gel will probably be positioned in your stomach.
  3. The technician will transfer the ultrasound transducer wand over your stomach. You’ll really feel them urgent in your stomach, but it surely will not harm you or your child. Nevertheless, should you do really feel uncomfortable at any time throughout the scan, it is necessary to let the well being care supplier know.

The complete anomaly scan sometimes takes between 45 and 75 minutes from begin to end, and also you usually obtain outcomes throughout the appointment. If an ultrasound tech performs the ultrasound, they can not inform you particular outcomes, so you might want to attend for a well being care supplier to assessment the ultrasound and discuss to you afterward.

3D Ultrasounds

3D and 4D ultrasounds have gotten extra extensively accessible. Many mother and father discover these detailed photographs to be extra lifelike than conventional ultrasounds. Nevertheless, not all well being care suppliers’ workplaces provide 3D ultrasounds, and generally, it may be tough to acquire good-quality 3D images. Speak to your well being care supplier about the advantages of 3D versus 2D on your fetal anomaly display screen.

What Precisely Does a 20 Week Anatomy Scan Present?

Between 18 and 22 weeks into your being pregnant, your child will probably be massive sufficient on your well being care supplier to see particulars of their organs and limbs from head to toe. If you happen to’re having multiples, every fetus will obtain their very own scan.

Throughout a being pregnant ultrasound, the newborn’s dimension and options are assessed. The scale of your child, compared to different infants of the identical gestational age, in addition to the placenta, will probably be evaluated to make sure your child is creating correctly.

Typically, follow-up ultrasounds for development and reevaluation will probably be steered based mostly on the findings of the preliminary scan. Barring any particular high-risk points, the next areas are examined to rule out start defects and different anomalies or crimson flags:

  • Mind (together with ventricles, cerebellum, corpus callosum, and different key constructions)
  • Neck (together with nuchal fold thickness)
  • Face constructions (palate, eyes, nostril, lips, and ears)
  • Coronary heart and lungs
  • Backbone and ribs
  • Belly organs (abdomen intestines, spleen, liver, gall bladder) and the belly wall
  • Limbs and digits
  • Genitals (if seen, can decide fetal intercourse)
  • Umbilical twine, together with vessels and insertion website
  • Placenta construction and placement
  • Cervical size
  • Fetal place and actions
  • Amniotic fluid

Sometimes, the pictures produced by the ultrasound will seem on a display screen the place you and the technician can see them. The pictures will probably be measured and recorded, and you might be given some printouts or despatched a hyperlink with the pictures to have as keepsakes.

This is a better have a look at what the anatomy scan will probably be checking in your child.

Fingers and toes

Dad and mom / Lue and Krystal Vang

Moments after start, the very first thing many new mother and father do is depend ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. Nevertheless, ultrasound expertise permits suppliers and fogeys alike to depend fingers and toes earlier than a child is even born.

Alternatively, in case your child could be very lively, it is attainable that you could be nonetheless have to attend till start to depend all fingers and toes individually.


Dad and mom / © A. Phillips

In contrast to the fingers and toes, you’ll probably be capable of clearly see larger areas like your child’s legs and arms on an ultrasound regardless of their motion. Through the scan, the ultrasound technician will measure your child’s thigh bone (femur). This measurement helps them calculate how effectively your child is rising for his or her gestational age.

Typically it is also attainable to see the child kicking, which you will or could not really feel at this level in your being pregnant—one other probably thrilling second to stay up for.


Dad and mom / © Maria Horn

Along with taking a look at your child’s legs, the ultrasound technician may also measure the bones of the arms. Relying on their place, you may even see your child waving their arms or sucking their thumb.

Some technicians could even be capable of snap a nonetheless photograph of your child’s arm waving or their thumb firmly planted of their mouth. Any such photograph can turn into a cherished memento and a strategy to keep in mind the second.

Mind and abdomen

Dad and mom / Ok. Harrell

Through the scan, the ultrasound technician will test your child’s inside constructions, together with their mind. At this level in fetal growth, the looks of the mind usually appears like a butterfly with wings. The ultrasound technician will test for particular anatomical landmarks within the child’s mind that may point out wholesome growth. They may also fastidiously test for any abnormalities.

Along with your child’s mind, the ultrasound technician will have a look at the:

  • Abdomen
  • Urinary tract
  • Kidneys
  • Cranium

Whereas each well being care supplier is totally different, you possibly can sometimes count on to be told of any uncommon findings or abnormalities by the tip of your appointment. If any potential points are discovered, the well being care supplier will let what the subsequent steps will probably be, reminiscent of extra testing or specialty appointments.


Dad and mom / Ok. Harrell

Your child’s backbone may also be examined throughout the fetal anatomy survey. You may even be capable of spot your child’s backbone your self on the ultrasound since it’s usually very clearly seen.

The technician will affirm that your child’s backbone and neural tube are utterly fashioned and with out cysts. As soon as once more, if abnormalities are current, your well being care supplier will go over these points with you—often earlier than the tip of your appointment.

Coronary heart

Dad and mom / / Ok. Harrell

Through the ultrasound, the technician will look by your child’s coronary heart to measure the fetal coronary heart charge and search for any structural issues. Ultrasound expertise could be very superior, and if any points are suspected, the well being care supplier will inform you of the subsequent steps.

It may be useful to remember the fact that even when a suspected situation is present in an anatomy scan, it doesn’t robotically imply there’s a drawback. Typically, further checks reveal that the suspected drawback is both simply remedied, will probably be outgrown, or was simply an abnormality that confirmed up within the preliminary scan however just isn’t regarding.

Placenta and umbilical twine

Dad and mom / Ok. Harrell

Throughout your anatomy scan, the technician may also study the placenta intently. Confirming the place the placenta is positioned helps the technician display screen you for a situation known as placenta previa.

An ultrasound examination additionally supplies view of the umbilical twine to substantiate that the twine features correctly. A standard umbilical twine has two arteries and one vein. The technician will test to see if in case you have a three-vessel or two-vessel twine (single umbilical artery or SUA). SUA is uncommon, occurring lower than 1% of the time.

Infants born with a two-vessel twine generally expertise development points or be born prematurely, so the well being care supplier could monitor your child extra intently if a two-vessel twine is discovered. Nevertheless, most infants born with a two-vessel twine will probably be born completely wholesome.


Dad and mom / © Jennifer Rauch

Your being pregnant anatomy scan often coincides with when the child’s assigned intercourse might be decided by ultrasound. It’s uncommon for ultrasounds at this stage to get the newborn’s intercourse unsuitable, however it could occur, particularly if the newborn is not able the place a transparent view might be seen.

The accuracy of this reveal relies on many components, particularly the place of your child and whether or not the ultrasound tech can get a transparent picture. In case your child just isn’t in a really perfect place, the tech could not be capable of decide the genitalia.

As well as, about 2% of infants are born intersex, that means they’ve variations in chromosomes, genitals, or reproductive organs, making it tough to assign a binary intercourse.

Methods to Put together for Anatomy Scan

Though the uncertainty of what’s going to occur throughout your anatomy ultrasound may cause emotions of anxiousness or nervousness, it could assist to consider an anatomy scan as a possibility for reassurance that your child is creating as they need to. It is also the proper alternative to get a sneak peek of what your child appears like previous to start and getting ready for the ultrasound is not as exhausting as it might appear.

Honestly, there is not a lot preparation wanted for an anatomy scan, however you possibly can greatest put together for one by carrying comfy straightforward to slide out and in of clothes and conserving your bladder full. You too can present your well being care supplier with earlier exams to match and observe the event of your child.

If surprising points are uncovered throughout the scan, a well being care supplier will be capable of handle these issues. At all times discuss to them about any issues or questions you could have so you’re feeling supported in your being pregnant journey.



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