Can I ask for an ultrasound?

17-18 weeks pregnant, Questions/answers

I’m pregnant and  I’m worried about my baby. I would like to ask for an ultrasound to get reassurance. Is it possible to ask my doctor?

There are many factors to consider before making a decision: how many weeks pregnant you are, the reasons for your request, your concerns… At first glance, if the doctor or health care provider doesn’t think there’s a valid reason for such a test, we can’t require our professional to perform such an examination.

Imagine if all pregnant women asked for multiple ultrasounds during their pregnancy! The health care system would simply not be able to handle that. It already struggles to meet the demand in some regions, so it’s just not feasible.

When you’re worried about something during your pregnancy, it’s important to talk to your healthcare professional about it, as well as your fears and concerns. You’ll get answers and reassurance from them, and if necessary, a prescription for an ultrasound may be given to you.

Do you know the different types of ultrasound scans that can be performed during pregnancy?

Here they are, with their reasons for being:

  • Dating ultrasound: This ultrasound allows us to measure the baby in order to accurately determine gestational age, verify the number of babies and locate the pregnancy. It is generally offered to women with irregular cycles and/or who do not know the date of their last menstruation.
  • Viability ultrasound: This ultrasound is used to assess the progress of the pregnancy and its location. It is performed if there is reasonable doubt that the pregnancy may not be progressing normally (history of miscarriage, presence of bleeding), or if there is doubt or to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy (bleeding, pain, history of an ectopic pregnancy). It is also generally offered immediately in the context of assisted reproduction (insemination, embryo transfer). It is generally performed around the 7th week of pregnancy.
  • Nuchal translucency and morphology ultrasound in the first trimester : This ultrasound is recommended for all pregnant women. It allows us to take certain measurements of your baby, to visualize certain maternal structures and to observe your baby’s morphological development in order to detect any abnormalities. Nuchal translucency measurement can detect certain abnormalities, including cardiac anomalies and the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, particularly trisomy 21. It is recommended between the 12th and 14th weeks of pregnancy.
  • Morphological ultrasound: This ultrasound is offered and accessible to all pregnant women. It is the most comprehensive examination of the pregnancy, visualizing all your baby’s organs in order to detect the presence of abnormalities. Measures are also taken to ensure that your baby’s growth is optimal.
  • 3rd trimester ultrasound : This ultrasound is generally recommended for certain specific indications. It is not necessarily offered to all pregnant women. Its purpose is to confirm your baby’s position, review the location of the placenta, measure the amount of amniotic fluid and evaluate your baby’s growth, amongst other things. Some requests for special 3rd trimester ultrasounds (high-risk pregnancies or particular previous ultrasounds) may be refused at Prenato and referred to a hospital center for faster management if necessary.
  • Expert ultrasound : This ultrasound allows you to see more specific things, for example, during a fetal heart ultrasound, attention will be focused on this level.

Most examinations are performed using transabdominal ultrasound, i.e. with a probe inserted into the abdomen. However, some situations require transvaginal ultrasound, i.e. certain images must be taken by inserting a probe inside the vagina to optimize certain images and measurements.

As you can see, there are a number of possible ultrasounds, but always with a purpose. If you have any concerns or notice any changes, the important thing is to talk to your health care provider to ensure you get the right follow-up, at the right time!

Marie
The Baby Expert

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Can I ask for an ultrasound?

Par Marie Fortier Temps de lecture: 3 min
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