What ultrasounds will I have?

This information on ultrasound examinations relates to Germany. If you do not live in Germany, then please inform yourself here:

  • Ultrasound examinations for pregnant women in Austria
  • Ultrasound examinations for pregnant women in Switzerland

In which weeks of pregnancy are my ultrasound examinations?

Overall, all pregnant women are offered three basic ultrasound scans. When these basic ultrasound examinations take place, it is clearly regulated: The initial examination takes place between week 9 and 12 (10th to 13th week, if you prefer the started weeks), a second between the week 19 and 22, a third between week 29 and 32.

If you have special medical reasons, you may have additional ultrasound scans that your health insurance company pays. For example, if you are considered a high-risk pregnant, the results of the ultrasound are not clear, or if your gynecologist suspects a health problem in your baby.

Usually, you can have the basic ultrasound scans done by your gynecologist. However, this requires that he / she has the appropriate equipment and the necessary training. If not, he / she will transfer you to another practice.

It's quite normal for the thought of ultrasound to make you a little nervous. In this case, you should first speak to your gynecologist. He / she will advise you in detail. It can also be useful if you are accompanied by your partner or a friend. Maybe it will help you to have the exam done by a woman.

All ultrasounds are voluntary. You can reject them without stating reasons without incurring disadvantages.

What other ultrasound examinations can I get?

In addition to the basic examinations offered to all pregnant women, you may also have the following additional examinations:

  • Weeks 5 to 8: You may be offered an ultrasound exam on your first visit. However, it is not anchored in the Maternity Guidelines and therefore not a statutory health insurance benefit, and you may have to pay for this examination. Please ask before.
  • SSW 11 to 14: A nuchal translucency measurement or short NT measurement. This goes to the London doctor Prof.Nicolaides, who discovered that a thicker neck fold is often associated with abnormalities in the chromosomes. It makes sense to have this nuchal translucency measurement performed by an experienced doctor with appropriate technical equipment. Patients should ask for a certificate.

    It is usually performed as part of the so-called first trimester screening, a study of the fetus for genetic and physical malformations. The costs are between 80 and 200 euros, they are not covered by the statutory and not by all private health insurance.

If you would like to have additional ultrasound scans yourself without any medical need, or if you would like to see 3D or 4D ultrasound scans of your baby, then you will need to pay for this benefit out of pocket, and the cashiers will reimburse the costs Not.

What is done during the ultrasound?

first Basic Ultrasound Scan, SSW 9 to 12

This will primarily determine how far you are in your pregnancy, when you expect to give birth, and how tall your baby is.

In this exam, your gynecologist ...

  • will measure your baby's length or head circumference.
  • Determine your baby's heartbeat.
  • Determine if you are expecting a baby or multiple birth

Nuchal translucency measurement:

This is a fairly new way to see evidence of Down's syndrome. For a definitive diagnosis, another test is needed, for example an amniocentesis. But with this ultrasound scan, your doctor will measure the thickness of your baby's neck crease. If this value of the nuchal translucency (NT value) is very high in relation to your pregnancy week, then you can have further tests done, because that could mean that your baby is born with Trisomy 21.

Not all physicians and clinics offer this examination as there is a lack of specially trained staff. But the nuchal translucency measurement is becoming more and more of an alternative to the previously used triplet test.

second Basic Ultrasound, SSW 19 to 22

The second ultrasound will help you determine how much you want to know about your baby's development, such as the development of organs.

In a ""baseline ultrasound scan,"" your gynecologist will examine the following:

  • how tall your baby's head and stomach are and how long his femur (femur length) is. This allows the doctor to determine if your baby is developing according to your pregnancy week.
  • where your placenta sits. A deep-seated placenta can cause difficulties in childbirth.

In an ""extended baseline ultrasound scan,"" your gynecologist will further investigate:

  • Are the head and brain chambers normally shaped?Is the cerebellum visible?
  • Are neck and back well developed?
  • What is the size ratio of heart and chest? Is the heart visible on the left? Does the heart beat rhythmically? Are the four chambers of the heart trained?
  • Is the front abdominal wall closed? Are the stomach and bladder visible?
  • (GbA 2013)

With this exam, your doctor can see if your baby is developing well and healthily - or if there are any health issues or developmental issues. Sometimes, however, you do not see everything, the result is not clear or there is evidence that something is wrong, that the baby might have a genetic disorder. You should consider these options when you have the exam done. Because you should be sure if and how much you want to know.

With this ultrasound scan, your doctor may well be able to accurately identify the gender of your child. You should tell in advance if you want to know if it will be a boy or a girl.

third Basic Ultrasound, SSW 29 to 32 :

Once again, your doctor will review your baby's growth and posture. Even after the heartbeat, he / she will hear and see if all the organs have taken up the work. The seat of the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid are determined.

Do I have to have the ultrasound scans done?

No, you do not have to. You can refuse any of the examinations without justification, without this being considered negative by the health insurance company. This is your decision that should make you dependent on how much you want to know about your baby, its development and any health problems before birth.

You may want to do one and not three exams - and if you are not worried about early pregnancy, you should have them done in the middle of pregnancy (weeks 19 to 22), when development is well advanced , the gender is recognizable and the baby is big enough that you can already see something on the screen.

You may also want to have all sorts of examinations done - in this case, you should ask your doctor about the following questions:

  • What is necessary - for me and my baby?
  • How is the offer near me?
  • What are the options in other areas?
  • What does the health insurance fund take over?

Tip: Make a copy of your ultrasound images as they fade over time. A wonderful gift for grandparents. However, you have to pay all pictures, videos or CDs of the ultrasound examinations privately, they are not cash.

Do not forget to download our free app for interesting daily information about your pregnancy.""My Baby Today"" gives you all the expert-tested answers you need - always at hand!


GBA 2013. Federal Joint Committee "" Patient Information I am pregnant Why are all pregnant women

offered three basic ultrasound scans? "". The leaflet is an annex to the Maternity Guidelines.

www. g-ba. de [pdf file, July 2013]

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