Ultrasound technology has become an integral part of modern obstetrics. Our practice employs several midwives who are qualified to perform ultrasounds in addition to working closely with Focus Midwifery Centre.
Early ultrasound/viability ultrasound
An early ultrasound, also called a viability ultrasound, is made before the 10th week of pregnancy. The purpose of the ultrasound is to see whether the pregnancy has viability, if the heart is beating, if the pregnancy has implanted itself in the correct place (not ectopic) and if it concerns a single or multiple pregnancies. Usually a vitality ultrasound is performed internally, by inserting a probe into the vagina.
Most pregnancies require an early ultrasound. So there is a medical indication , in this case the cost of this ultrasound is covered by your health insurance.
If you would like an early ultrasound but don’t have a medical indication? No problem, please contact our assistant and she can book the viability ultrasound to take place at our practice. In this case the ultrasound is payable at a cost of €40.86 (2022).
A dating ultrasound is an ultrasound where the due date can be precisely calculated. The dating ultrasound is preferably performed between 10-12 weeks of pregnancy, when the measurement (from head to tailbone) is the most reliable. This ultrasound takes place at the practice and is covered by your health insurance.
13 week ultrasound
The 13 week ultrasound is a medical examination that can be performed by a sonographer if you are between 12 weeks (plus 3 days) and 14 weeks (plus 3 days) pregnant.
With the 13-week ultrasound you can have your baby screened early on in the pregnancy for the possibility of serious physical abnormalities. During this ultrasound, the sonographer examines the baby’s skull, heart, abdomen, limbs, spine, nuchal fold and the placenta. The sonographer also checks whether the amniotic fluid is normal. The baby’s sex is NOT checked during this examination. There is no fee payable for this ultrasound.
Click here to read all the information about the ’13 weeks ultrasound’. This brochure will also further explain the difference between the 13 weeks and the 20 weeks ultrasound.
20 week ultrasound
The 20 weeks ultrasound is also known as a structural echoscopic examination (SEO). The main purpose of this examination is to screen for the presence of an open back (spina bifida) or open skull. The development of the baby’s organs is also examined and any physical abnormalities may show at this point. In addition the baby’s growth is checked and whether there is a sufficient amount of amniotic fluid.
The 20 weeks ultrasound is covered by your basic health insurance. For this ultrasound we need to refer you to our ultrasound centre Focus or a hospital because we are unable to perform this scan at our practice.
Sometimes there is an indication to monitor the growth of the baby more closely. The reason can already be apparent at the beginning of the pregnancy. In consultation with you, this information will be added to your care plan.
A reason to measure the growth more often may also develop during a later stage of pregnancy, the measurement is taken via ultrasound. We will discuss with you when this should take place. If there is an indication for a growth ultrasound, the cost is covered by your health insurance. This ultrasound is usually performed at Focus.
For more information about growth ultrasounds click here.
Around week 36 of your pregnancy we will perform a ‘position’ ultrasound. Experience shows that the position of the baby cannot always be determined manually. Even following the ultrasound, the position of the baby can still change, so there is no 100% certainty. This ultrasound will take place at our practice.
Do you want to read more about the position ultrasound? Check this link.
What you need to know
When undergoing an ultrasound, there are a few things you should know beforehand:
- Sometimes an ultrasound can cause feelings of doubt and worry when results show something not quite right. In this case the ultrasound will be repeated at a later stage for greater clarity. It is normal to feel either excited or stressed during this stage.
- At every additional ultrasound during your 3rd trimester, we examine the anatomy of the baby, but in less detail than the 20 weeks ultrasound (SEO). The examination may show an abnormality that has not been discovered previously, naturally you would feel concern. However, at this stage of the pregnancy, abortion is no longer legally permitted. But you can (depending on the condition) arrange for appropriate care once the baby has been born by being referred to a specialist centre.
- Even though everything seems normal on the ultrasound, there is no guarantee that the baby is healthy or indeed growing well. The images during the ultrasound depend on the position of the baby, the location of the placenta and the condition of the maternal abdominal wall (a muscular or thicker abdominal wall can make the ultrasound more difficult). These examples can cause the sonographer to misjudge or miss any issues entirely.
- Assessing the growth of the baby by means of an ultrasound is sometimes difficult. Therefore babies are seldom born with the predicted body weight. So a margin of error applies.
- Ultrasound technology is a safe research method. So far, no adverse effects have occurred due to ultrasound waves. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that adverse effects will never occur.
It is possible to save the ultrasound photos we take of your baby on a USB stick. You can buy this USB stick at our practice for € 5.00. If you would like to do this, please bring € 5.00 in a single note.