This ultrasound takes place around the 7th or 8th week of pregnancy. It helps to determine if the pregnancy is progressing normally and if the heart of the fetus is beating.
Women who have had fertility treatments will usually have access to this early ultrasound right away. In other cases, it may be relevant to do this ultrasound if the pregnant woman has a history of repeated miscarriages or if the doctor suspects an ectopic pregnancy. This is a very reassuring moment for future parents since it is the first meeting with their baby. Note that a prescription is required to have access to this ultrasound.
The dating ultrasound is usually performed between the 9th and 11th week of amenorrhea and can determine the gestational age accurately. This examination may also be relevant if the attending physician was unable to hear the fetal heart on doppler during the routine appointment. This ultrasound consists of taking the measurements of the fetus (cephalo-caudal length and biparietal diameter) to determine its evolution and thus know the expected date of delivery. The technologist takes the time to check and show the baby’s heartbeat to future parents. In addition, she makes sure that the uterus and ovaries do not show any abnormality. Note that a prescription is required to have access to this ultrasound.
The first trimester ultrasound is usually done between 11 4/7 and 13 6/7 weeks of amenorrhea. It is used to determine the gestational age when no dating ultrasound has been performed. In addition, it allows to measure the nuchal translucency, to visualize the nasal bone (which are indicators of the risk of trisomy) and to make the non-exhaustive analysis of the anatomy of the fetus (ex: arms, legs, abdominal wall , skull etc.). This ultrasound takes approximately 30 minutes and requires a prescription from your attending physician.
The nuchal translucency measurement, which is analyzed during the first trimester ultrasound, is an ultrasound measurement of the subcutaneous space at the nape of the fetus. It is an important marker in the analysis of the risk of trisomy 21 screening by serum markers.
The second trimester ultrasound is done between the 20th and 23rd week of pregnancy and is recommended for all pregnant women. This ultrasound makes it possible to evaluate in a very complete way the whole of the anatomy of the baby. This is usually the last ultrasound before delivery. The appointment lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour, and a medical prescription is necessary.
The 3rd trimester ultrasound is not part of the regular pregnancy monitoring protocol. It will be prescribed to control a specific anatomical structure or even to monitor the baby’s growth curve. It can also be prescribed to validate the baby’s position. The indication must be mentioned on your medical request.
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