An ultrasound, also called a sonogram, is one of the most commonly used tests during pregnancy. It’s an examination and imaging tool that can give you more details about your pregnancy and the health of your baby.
During a prenatal ultrasound, sound waves produce images of the baby inside the uterus, allowing you and your provider to see the baby’s organs and how the baby is developing and growing.
Most women will receive at least one ultrasound during their pregnancy. However, if your pregnancy is high-risk, you may undergo more while receiving expert care in our award-winning Maternal Fetal Medicine program.
The vast majority of the 30,000 obstetrical ultrasounds done by our providers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are the 2D traditional version as that’s the only test that allows us to see the baby’s organs. The 3D and 4D versions, while they can produce cute pictures of your baby inside the womb, are not done routinely and will only be used if needed to help give specific clinical information, such as some facial anomalies.
Why is an ultrasound performed?
Other than giving expectant mothers a chance to glimpse a smile from their growing baby or see a cute “wave” from him or her, ultrasounds have many clinical uses during pregnancy.
Ultrasounds not only measure the size of the baby but also help identify issues and diagnose medical conditions.
An ultrasound might be performed to:
- Determine how many weeks pregnant you are
- Check if you are carrying more than one baby
- Measure size of the baby
- Look for birth defects
- Examine baby’s heart rate
- Screen for risk of a premature delivery
Types of ultrasound
Generally, ultrasounds are done one of two ways — transvaginally or abdominally.
- Transvaginal ultrasound – Typically done earlier in pregnancy, this type of ultrasound requires a wand, or transducer, to be inserted into the vagina to produce images of the baby, the placenta, or cervix, the opening to the uterus or womb.
- Abdominal ultrasound – When the baby grows a bit bigger, an ultrasound can be done simply by putting a transducer on the belly.
Here are some common ultrasound examinations you might encounter while pregnant:
- Anatomy scan – About halfway through your pregnancy (18-20 weeks), you’ll have a detailed ultrasound that looks at the baby’s organs, size and weight and overall health.
- Cervical length measurement – As part of assessing risk for premature birth, all women who are pregnant will have their cervix measured; this is usually at the same time as the anatomy scan.
- Nuchal translucency – Performed between 11 and 13 weeks, this ultrasound measures the collection of fluid under the baby’s skin at the back of the neck. Blood is taken from mom as well. The combination is a screening test for detecting chromosomal disorders.
- Doppler examination – This technique can be used to evaluate blood flow within the mother’s pelvic vessels and the baby’s blood vessels, including the umbilical cord. It’s only done in some high-risk pregnancies.
- Fetal echocardiogram – A special ultrasound that looks at whether the heart looks normal and works correctly, this test is typically done after 20 weeks for women who have a higher risk of having a child with a congenital heart defect. It’s done in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Risks of an ultrasound
There are no known risks to you or your baby from an ultrasound.
What happens during an ultrasound?
This prenatal test will be performed by one of our physicians or licensed sonographers in a doctor’s office or hospital.
While the process is similar for both, there are some key differences depending on what type of ultrasound you are receiving.
- Transvaginal – During this type of ultrasound, you’ll lie on your back and a wand will be inserted into the vagina while your feet are in stirrups. You might feel some pressure from the wand but not pain. This typically lasts less than 20 minutes.
- Transabdominal – Also performed while you lie on your back, this ultrasound requires the provider to put gel, which helps the sound waves move more easily, on your stomach. Then, the transducer will be moved across your belly creating the images. You may be asked to drink water before the procedure as a full bladder can help produce better pictures.
Results of an ultrasound
Results of an ultrasound are often available immediately if a physician is doing the test and sometimes, you’ll even be allowed to view the screen as the test is happening.
If the ultrasound is done by a sonographer, you might have to wait to have it read by a doctor, who will then relay the results to you.
Why choose Ohio State for your ultrasound and prenatal care?
Here at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, all of our sonographers are certified to ensure the best images of your baby during every ultrasound.
This can give you peace of mind that your pregnancy is progressing properly. However, if a possible problem is identified, our expert Maternal Fetal Medicine team can quickly get you an accurate diagnosis and provide unmatched support and care throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
If your pregnancy is considered high-risk for any reason, here are some of the benefits of being treated at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center:
- We have specialized maternal fetal medicine physicians, nurses and genetic counselors who care for mothers and babies identified as high-risk. We provide prenatal care and delivery planning for all babies identified to have fetal anomalies or pregnancies with red blood cell antibodies that require transfusion.
- Our team collaborates closely with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to ensure the best care and delivery planning for high-risk babies.
- We are have more than a decade of experience performing early fetal echocardiograms.
- Our licensed and board certified team of genetic counselors will review your family history, assess your risks, explain your testing options, help you understand your test results and support you through your pregnancy whenever you have questions or concerns.
Amniocentesis This test uses amniotic fluid to diagnose genetic conditions, neural tube defects and infections.
Biophysical profile Can be done with or without a nonstress test, this test can give you vital information about your baby later in pregnancy.
- (Video) 2nd Trimester OB scan
Cell-free DNA test A simple blood test, this screens for genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome.
Small pieces of genetic material (DNA) from the pregnancy are in a mother’s blood and are tested to check if a baby is at higher risk for Down syndrome and other genetic chromosomal conditions. This is a screening test and does not give a definite answer. Further testing may be done if cell‐free DNA screening indicates a pregnancy is at high risk.
Chorionic villus sampling During this first trimester test, we take a sample of a developing placenta to identify or rule out chromosome abnormalities.
Fetal echocardiogram A special ultrasound of your baby’s heart, this tool allows specialists to diagnose certain heart defects.
This ultrasound is provided in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. It’s performed here are Ohio State and read by a pediatric cardiologist. If a heart defect is found, the pediatric cardiologist will determine its significance and whether the defect will affect your baby prior to birth, will require immediate transfer after birth to Nationwide Children’s or will require heart surgery after birth.
Fetal kick counts Doing this exercise can provide a simple way to check on the baby during the later months of pregnancy.
During this test, you’ll count how long it takes your baby to make eight to 10 movements – a kick, flutter, burp, included – in the third trimester. Generally, this should take about an hour. If your baby isn’t moving this much, it might be worth further testing.
Glucose challenge test Around the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, you’ll be tested for gestational diabetes.See AlsoTop ten largest children’s hospitals in the US by bed size in 2021Cook Children's Endocrinology - Lewisville on , Lewisville, TX - Store HoursEndocrine system 1: overview of the endocrine system and hormonesTRANSGENDER: History Timeline and Studies(Video) OBGYN in American Fork, Utah County Dr Saunders | Obstetrics, Gynecology, Ultrasound, Infertility
Group B Strep test This is a swab test to check for a bacteria strep infection during the later weeks of pregnancy.
You’ll be screened for this during the 36thor 37th week of pregnancy. This test involves swabbing the vagina and rectum and if you test positive, you’ll receive IV antibiotics during labor to prevent infection for the baby.
Nonstress test A noninvasive test, this monitors the baby’s heart rate and how it responds to movements and contractions.
Nuchal translucency This ultrasound measures the collection of fluid under the baby’s skin at the back of the neck.
An abnormal finding during the first trimester can help detect chromosomal abnormalities, heart defects and other genetic syndromes.
- (Video) Meet Dr. Lisa Keder | OBGYN at Ohio State
Quad screening This blood test screens for open neural tube defects and other possible problems.
Administered during 15 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, this will screen for conditions such as spina bifida, anencephaly, abdominal wall defects and chromosome changes. If results indicate a high risk of these disorders further tests will be performed.
Ultrasound This is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce images of the baby inside the uterus.
During pregnancy, your obstetrician will order or perform routine ultrasounds for a number of reasons, but they are done primarily to assess the growth and development of your baby.What is ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology? ›
What is an OB-GYN ultrasound? An obstetrics and gynecologic (OB-GYN) ultrasound is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an internal image of a woman's bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and ovaries, presented on a computer screen for physician and patient viewing.Does OSU 3D ultrasound? ›
Available services include: Screening and diagnostic mammography (including 3D tomosynthesis) Screening (automated whole breast ultrasound) and diagnostic breast ultrasound.How many ultrasounds do you get during pre? ›
Most healthy women receive two ultrasound scans during pregnancy. "The first is, ideally, in the first trimester to confirm the due date, and the second is at 18-22 weeks to confirm normal anatomy and the sex of the baby," explains Mendiola.Is ultrasound part of prenatal care? ›
Fetal ultrasound is a routine part of prenatal care in the U.S. This is because it's a low risk procedure that gives important information. A routine prenatal ultrasound can check for defects or other problems in the fetus.Do ultrasounds count as prenatal care? ›
Examples of prenatal care include: Routine office visits with your OB-GYN or midwife. Lab tests. Ultrasounds and other imaging services.What are the 3 types of ultrasounds? ›
- Endoscopic ultrasound.
- Doppler ultrasound.
- Color Doppler.
- Duplex ultrasound.
- Triplex ultrasound (color-flow imaging)
- Transvaginal ultrasound.
Ultrasound is used for many reasons, including to: View the uterus and ovaries during pregnancy and monitor the developing baby's health. Diagnose gallbladder disease. Evaluate blood flow.What can a gynecologist see on an ultrasound? ›
A Pelvic ultrasound scan is the most effective imaging modality used to examine the uterus and ovaries. It is may also be used during pregnancy to monitor the health and development of the embryo or fetus. In males, a pelvic ultrasound usually focuses on the bladder and prostate gland.How much is an ultrasound in Ohio? ›
|Pregnant Ultrasound Cost Average||$310 - $800||Free Quote|
|Ultrasound of Fetus Cost Average||$100 - $240||Free Quote|
|Bone Ultrasound Cost Average||$30 - $60||Free Quote|
|Pelvic Ultrasound Cost Average||$140 - $360||Free Quote|
A very nice and relax place with lots of comfort for moms-to-be and their companions. As you can see above, my 3D/4D Ultrasound was almost as a picture of my baby… even my Ob/Gyn was amazed with the image. Highly recommended!!!”What is a 5D ultrasound? ›
The 5D ultrasound has a volume processing software that gives the image of the baby a higher resolution, greater clarity and shadow tones that provide an amazingly realistic appearance to the features of the fetal face.Why don't you get an ultrasound every appointment? ›
“It's actually not routine to scan at every visit,” Herta says. “They've done a lot of studies that it hasn't improved the baby's outcome or maternal outcomes. There's not any medical benefit.” Instead, a doctor should measure the woman's stomach and check the heartbeat—and that's it.At what stages of pregnancy do you get ultrasounds? ›
Most women get an ultrasound in their second trimester at 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some also get a first-trimester ultrasound (also called an early ultrasound) before 14 weeks of pregnancy. The number of ultrasounds and timing may be different for women with certain health conditions like as asthma and obesity.Can too many ultrasounds harm baby? ›
“A review of over 50 medical studies shows that ultrasounds do not pose any danger to moms or fetuses. They do not cause birth defects, childhood developmental or intellectual problems, or cancer.”Why is my ultrasound not covered by insurance? ›
Some of the more advanced types of ultrasounds, such as the 3D and 4D ultrasounds, are not typically covered by insurance. This is because these types of ultrasounds are not deemed medically necessary when 2D ultrasounds can be performed.Will I get an ultrasound at my first appointment? ›
No matter which type of provider you choose, an initial appointment usually includes lab tests and an ultrasound, though in some circumstances the provider may schedule the ultrasound at a later date.Who is responsible for ultrasound? ›
The Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is responsible for the independent operation of sonographic equipment, and for performing and communicating results of diagnostic examinations using sonography.Should ultrasounds be covered by insurance? ›
Typically, yes, though there are exceptions and limitations. In most cases, employees who have health insurance through the Marketplace or through employer-sponsored coverage can expect their carrier to pay a portion or all of the cost of the ultrasound if the procedure is considered a medical necessity.Does insurance cover 20 week ultrasound? ›
Although the majority of U.S. health plans cover an ultrasound that's performed around 16 to 20 weeks (it checks on the position of your baby and otherwise examines its health), a lot of them stop there.
A pelvic ultrasound typically is covered by health insurance when ordered by a doctor for diagnosis of a problem. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a copay of $10-$50 or more, or coinsurance of 10%-50% or more.Which ultrasound is the most important? ›
Anatomy scan (18–22 Weeks)
According to ACOG, this detailed pregnancy ultrasound generally happens between weeks 18 and 22 in the second trimester. It's the most thorough check-up your baby will have before they're born.
How long does a transvaginal ultrasound take? The examination takes between 15–30 minutes. Sometimes you will be asked to wait and have the images checked by the radiologist or obstetrician sonologist (specialist doctors).What is the difference between an ultrasound and a sonogram? ›
A sonogram is an image produced by an ultrasound. In other words, it's not the procedure itself but the product. For example, many parents can recall the thrilling moment they saw their baby on the ultrasound monitor and were then given the printed sonogram to take home.What problems can be seen on ultrasound? ›
- Abnormal growths, such as tumors or cancer.
- Blood clots.
- Enlarged spleen.
- Ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants outside of your uterus).
- Aortic aneurysm.
- Kidney or bladder stones.
Tumors and cysts: An ultrasound can find dense areas of tissue such as tumors or cysts. It shows cysts differently from tumors to help your doctor make a diagnosis. Uterine fibroids: Fibroids and other conditions related to the female reproductive system show up on ultrasounds.Why is my doctor sending me for an ultrasound? ›
An external ultrasound scan is most often used to examine the heart or an unborn baby in the womb. It can also be used to examine the liver, kidneys and other organs in the tummy and pelvis, as well as other organs or tissues that can be assessed through the skin, such as muscles and joints.Why would an Obgyn want to do an ultrasound? ›
Although, ultrasounds are not included with a typical annual exam, ultrasounds are a very effective tool to diagnose problems early on. An ultrasound can show the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and evidence the presence of malformations or abnormalities such as cysts, fibroids, or enlarged organs.Why would I need an ultrasound after a Pap smear? ›
Although Papanicolaou test (PAP smear) tests are the preferred screening tool, sonography can be used to assess the uterus, ovaries, and adnexa for any changes that would suggest abnormalities and disease.Can you get an ultrasound instead of a pelvic exam? ›
It may be time to accept that the bimanual pelvic exam is no longer the most effective or efficient tool for assessing the female pelvis. Ultrasound is rapidly proving to be a better method of assessment that reliably offers the necessary details and clarity of the reproductive organs with same-day results.
Ultrasound Pelvis prices range from Rs 800 to Rs 1500 in India. It helps in the proper diagnosis of abdominal pain, reproductive organ issues, infection, bleeding and other issues.How much is a basic ultrasound? ›
The Cost of an Ultrasound Without Insurance
The cost of an ultrasound in most cities ranges from about $110 to $370. Prices may be higher in cities than in suburban areas, so looking for a doctor's office outside of the city may help you save money.
Rs. 600 to Rs 1500 approximately. What is a fetal ultrasound? It is done during pregnancy to produce images of the unborn baby in the uterus.Why do babies touch their face in the womb? ›
Lead author Dr Nadja Reissland, in the Department of Psychology, at Durham University, said: “Increased touching of the lower part of the face and mouth in fetuses could be an indicator of brain development necessary for healthy development, including preparedness for social interaction, self-soothing and feeding.Can you tell if baby has hair on ultrasound? ›
Many expecting parents are curious if they will be able to see the baby's hair during their 3D ultrasound session. While HDLive 3D ultrasound and 4D ultrasound technology do not display “stands” of hair, the rendering may display contours on the baby's head which is a sign that they baby has hair.Can you tell if a baby has hair on a 3D ultrasound? ›
Many parents wonder if they will be able to see the baby's hair during their ultrasound. Unfortunately 3D/4D ultrasound technology cannot see any hair on the baby, however standard 2d (black and white) ultrasound can usually pick up strands of hair!Is 4D or 5D ultrasound better? ›
5D ultrasound imaging is currently the newest and most advanced ultrasound imaging there is. It is also commonly known as HD Live. 5D and HD Live has superior resolution and looks like a more realistic 3D/4D Ultrasound image.Is 3D or 4D ultrasound better? ›
3D imaging allows for the visualization of fetal structures and the internal anatomy as static 3D images. Comparatively, 4D ultrasounds allow for a live-streaming video of the images, showing the motion of the fetal heart wall or valves, as well as the current blood that is flowing through various vessels.What's the difference between a 3D and 4D ultrasound? ›
In a 3-D ultrasound, many 2-D images are taken from various angles and pieced together to form a three-dimensional image. This looks more like what you're used to seeing in a typical photograph. 4-D is similar to 3-D, but it shows movement, so you can see your baby kicking or opening and closing their eyes.Do obstetricians do ultrasounds? ›
Some obstetricians perform ultrasounds in their rooms. Some private obstetricians also offer a 'shared care' arrangement, under which you split your appointments between your doctor (GP) or midwife and your obstetrician.
She can go directly and get done pelvic scan . No need of prescription.What are the 3 scans in pregnancy? ›
- The Dating Scan. ...
- Screening for Down's, Edwards' and Patau's Syndromes. ...
- The Gender Scan. ...
- The Mid-Pregnancy Scan. ...
- Third-Trimester Scans. ...
- Standard 2D Scans. ...
- 3D Scans. ...
- 4D Scans.
Your health care provider might do a physical exam, including a breast exam and a pelvic exam. You might need a Pap test, depending on how long it's been since your last Pap test. Depending on your situation, you may need exams of your heart, lungs and thyroid.Is 8 week ultrasound internal or external? ›
Your 8-week appointment may include a transvaginal or abdominal ultrasound, which is low risk but can offer the first glimpse at your baby. However, it's important to know that when it's this early in the pregnancy, you might not be able to identify a heartbeat or see your fetus just yet.Is 9 week ultrasound internal or external? ›
This ultrasound may be conducted vaginally or externally on your abdomen. Know that if your healthcare provider has officially referred you for an early scan your insurance should cover it. At 9 weeks, you will be able to see your baby's head, body, and limbs.Can autism be detected in ultrasound? ›
A routine prenatal ultrasound can identify early signs of autism, study finds. Summary: A routine prenatal ultrasound in the second trimester can identify early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a new study has found.Is it safe to have ultrasound every month in pregnancy? ›
2, 2004 -- Having multiple ultrasound examinations during pregnancy is unlikely to cause any lasting harm to the developing fetus, according to a new study that confirms the long-term safety of the commonly used procedure.Do ultrasounds affect baby's hearing? ›
In summary, we found no correlation between a higher level of prenatal ultrasound exposure and hearing loss - in fact quite the opposite is true, particularly in the case of third trimester US exams.Who carries out an ultrasound scan? ›
Most ultrasound scans last between 15 and 45 minutes. They usually take place in a hospital radiology department and are performed either by a doctor, radiographer or a sonographer.Who will perform ultrasound? ›
Ultrasound technicians, or sonographers, have special training in how to perform the test. Then a radiologist or your doctor will interpret the ultrasound images. This technology can help diagnose and treat certain conditions.
You can get a private early pregnancy scan at 6 – 12 weeks. By 6 weeks the doctor should be able to see your baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound scan. The heartbeat will be visualised and not heard at this stage.Will ultrasound tech tell you if something wrong? ›
Ultrasound technicians, or sonographers, are trained to operate ultrasound machines and take fetal measurements. Since they are not medical practitioners, they are not qualified to give medical diagnoses.How long do ultrasounds results take? ›
When your ultrasound is finished, a radiologist will review your ultrasound results and send your healthcare provider a written report within 24 hours. Ask your healthcare provider how and when you will get the results from your ultrasound.What does not show up on an ultrasound? ›
Ultrasound cannot tell whether a tumor is cancer. Its use is also limited in some parts of the body because the sound waves can't go through air (such as in the lungs) or through bone.What weeks do you get ultrasounds during pregnancy? ›
Most women get an ultrasound in their second trimester at 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some also get a first-trimester ultrasound (also called an early ultrasound) before 14 weeks of pregnancy. The number of ultrasounds and timing may be different for women with certain health conditions like as asthma and obesity.Do you usually get an ultrasound at your first prenatal visit? ›
Most practitioners do a prenatal ultrasound during the first visit, which is the most accurate way of dating a pregnancy. However, some docs wait until a bit later, when there's more to see.Is it a must to go for a scan during pregnancy? ›
Do I need to have ultrasound scans? Your doctor is likely to recommend you have one or more ultrasound scans during your pregnancy so they can check how your baby is developing, but you're still free to choose whether or not you have the scan.How much is the pregnancy scan? ›
R450. This ultrasound is performed during 6 - 10 weeks of gestation. A full bladder is recommended. This includes fetal measurements, heart rate, multiple pregnancy detection, estimated due date and printed images.