The first obstetric ultrasound is performed at approximately 8 weeks gestation. This is a transvaginal ultrasound. This ultrasound allows for the confirmation of menstrual dates, the presence of the fetal heartbeat, and the correct location of the pregnancy in the uterus. It also allows us to confirm that there is a single baby (or twins/triplets).
The next obstetrical ultrasound is an OPTIONAL one at approximately 12 weeks gestation. This is performed on the abdomen. This ultrasound measures the thickness of a fold of tissue behind the baby’s neck. This can be performed as a part of a screening test for chromosomal disorders (such as Down syndrome). This ultrasound also allows us to evaluate the early fetal anatomy that cannot be seen on the first trimester dating ultrasound. This ultrasound can often confirm the presence of normal early fetal anatomy (fetal brain, nasal bone, stomach, liver, kidneys, bladder, cord insertion, limbs, spine, and some facial structures such as orbits, eye lenses, upper lip, profile). At this early scan, some of the anatomy may not be well seen due to the early gestational age. With each examination, our sonographers use the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle. There are many factors that can affect the acoustic output of an ultrasound examination.
At approximately 20 weeks gestation, the fetal anatomy ultrasound is performed. In this ultrasound, the heart, kidneys, brain, facial profile, bladder, stomach, liver, limbs/extremities, cord insertion, and placenta are assessed. The fetal sex can typically be seen on this ultrasound as well.
In most pregnancies, there are no additional ultrasounds after 20 weeks. However in certain high risk pregnancies, additional ultrasounds may be performed for growth or for the assessment of fetal well being. A provider may also choose to obtain an extra ultrasound based on the clinical progression of the pregnancy to measure growth or confirm well being.
High-quality prenatal care is the best thing you can do for your baby. At Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN of Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA, our ob-gyn specialists have brought thousands of babies into the world. We offer advanced ultrasound and all the monitoring you need throughout your pregnancy—along with focused personal attention and support during this exciting time in your life.
We do everything to make your experience with us as comfortable as possible. Our medical team of ob-gyns, nurse practitioners, registered sonographers, and outstanding administrative staff are here to serve and care for you.
A standard ultrasound appointment exam checks the fetus’s physical development, estimates gestational age, and screens for significant congenital anomalies. A standard ultrasound appointment exam can also provide information about the following:
If the fetus rests in a good position, it may even be possible to tell the sex.
Using state of the art in office ultrasound equipment, you will see your baby grow and mark the milestones of their development as your pregnancy progresses. An obstetrical in office ultrasound is usually done vaginally until after 10 weeks.
Here is the timeline in your pregnancy that you can expect an in office ultra sound. Remember that these ultrasounds are for low risk pregnancies.
|Ultrasound Type||Gestational Age|
|Early Pregnancy and Dating||7 to 10 Weeks|
|Fetal Anatomy||19 to 21 Weeks|
|Growth Ultrasound, if appropriate||30 to 35 Weeks|
Your first early ultrasound scan provides you with the necessary information regarding the number of babies and your expected date of delivery. The presence of your pregnancy and detection of the fetal heart can generally be seen at 7 weeks by a vaginal scan and from 8-9 weeks by an abdominal scan. Accurate images and measurements are taken of the gestational sac, the crown to rump length.
Between 19-21 weeks, your baby’s anatomy is scanned in detail so that information about their many body systems, such as the digestive tract, urinary tract, heart and major blood vessels, brain, and others, can be interpreted and imaged. During your in office ultra sound, the sex of the baby can typically, but not always, be seen. If a Level II ultra sound appointment is necessary, you will be scheduled with an ultrasound doctor.
This scan can tell us that your baby is growing as expected. We will follow along with a tape measure on the outside at your visits, but this ultrasound appointment gives us a much more accurate idea about your baby’s growth. It will provide us with an early warning if something is not as anticipated.
At Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN of Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA, we offer patients the convenience of in office ultrasound technology, right here in our Atlanta location. This allows expectant moms to confirm a healthy intrauterine pregnancy at the time of their OB visit, rather than coordinating and scheduling separate appointments.
An in office ultra sound uses high frequency sound waves and transmits these waves through an expectant mother’s abdomen to create a sonogram. Though typically used interchangeably with “ultrasound,” a sonogram is the actual image of the baby and placenta created during your in office ultra sound.
Ultrasounds are painless, non-invasive, and can be performed at any point during pregnancy to help determine your baby’s gender and due date. Information obtained through sonography can also be used as a diagnostic tool to assist in the detection of abnormalities or defects.
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