What is Ultrasound?
Diagnostic ultrasound, also referred to as sonography, is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves that are emitted and then bounce back from internal structures to produce images of those structures within the body. Often used during pregnancy, diagnostic ultrasound is used to measure the development of the fetus within the womb, as well as to determine if there may be any abnormalities occurring during pregnancy and fetal development.
There are several ultrasounds that are considered “routine” during pregnancy. Additionally, other ultrasounds are considered “optional.”
At Woodlands OBGYN Associates, we routinely perform the first ultrasound in the first trimester to confirm pregnancy viability and to more accurately determine how far along the pregnancy has progressed.
In addition, we routinely perform an ultrasound at 19-20 weeks for a detailed survey of the anatomy of your baby. In normal low-risk pregnancies, these are the only two ultrasounds that are performed. In high-risk pregnancies, there may be indication for additional ultrasounds to be performed in order to monitor the pregnancy more closely.
A third trimester ultrasound is generally recommended to be performed at 32-36 weeks to look at the anatomy of the baby, the amniotic fluid, the placenta, position of the baby and the baby’s growth. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not generally feel that this screening ultrasound is justified or “medically necessary” in women with a normal, uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancy. If you choose to undergo this ultrasound, there is usually an associated cost, as it is not at all covered by insurance.
A “gender check” ultrasound can be performed at around 15 weeks gestation to determine the sex of your baby. The cost for this ultrasound is not covered by medical insurance.