Preparation for dating scan

There are no significant risks associated with ultrasounds, though medical guidelines caution against unnecessary exposure to ultrasound — which is why your practitioner will schedule only a handful of them throughout your pregnancy.If you're concerned about the upcoming picture show (and what those grainy images reveal), talk to your practitioner about what he or she is looking for.Screening can determine the likelihood of risk of an abnormality, but does not diagnose the condition.If screening does identify a possible risk, it does not necessarily mean there is an abnormality present, but does mean that further testing is necessary.These days, it's pretty much routine for women in their second trimester to be scheduled for a level 2 ultrasound, commonly called the 20-week anatomy scan.That's because practitioners have found that this special pregnancy ultrasound is a great way to see how a baby is developing and offer reassurance that everything is going exactly the way it should be.Important to know before you head into your scan: Very few babies showing soft markers (choroid plexus cyst, echogenic foci or pyelectasia, to name an unpronounceable few) end up having an abnormality.

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Settle in to enjoy the show: The detailed level 2 scan can take 30 to 45 minutes (depending on how cooperative your little one wants to be).If you have a condition that needs to be monitored (such as carrying multiples), you may have more than one detailed ultrasound.You may need to drink water before your exam so you'll have a full bladder, which makes it easier to take ultrasound images.Even if you had a first-trimester (level 1) sonogram to confirm or date your pregnancy, or as part of a first-trimester screening test, the more detailed level 2 sonogram is important because of all the additional valuable information it gives your practitioner about what's going on with your baby.Most anatomy scans are performed in the second trimester of pregnancy, typically at 20 weeks but they can be done anytime between 18 weeks and 22 weeks.

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