How many ultrasounds do you get during pregnancy in Ontario?

When you are pregnant, there are a lot of things to think about and keep track of. Among the many things to consider is when you will have your first ultrasound scan. This post will give an overview of when ultrasounds are typically performed during a pregnancy. Keep in mind that every pregnancy is different, so speak with your healthcare provider if you have any specific questions or concerns.

Ultrasounds are one of the most cherished pregnancy events, second only to delivery. For many expecting mothers, seeing that black-and-white blob is the first time their future parenthood becomes real. But how many ultrasounds are you going to have in the following nine months? And, when do you get your first ultrasound for pregnancy in Ontario, Canada?

When do you get your first ultrasound for pregnancy in Ontario
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    But first, what is an ultrasound?

    Ultrasound creates images of the inside of the body by using high-frequency sound waves. The method makes no use of radiation. It is a painless, fast, and safe test that normally takes roughly 30-45 minutes but can last longer if the baby was being particularly stubborn. The ultrasound images are obtained by using a scanning instrument and an ultrasound gel applied to your abdomen by the sonographer.

    Sometimes the ultrasound must be performed transvaginally; this process is unpleasant but not painful. This type of ultrasound would typically be done in the very early stages of pregnancy. Ultrasound is not used to diagnose a pregnancy, but it is used to date a pregnancy and examine a variety of fetal and maternal health issues.

    What weeks do you get ultrasounds during pregnancy?

    Most women receive their biggest ultrasound (widely known as the anatomy scan) between 18 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, during the second trimester. Most women also get a first-trimester ultrasound (sometimes referred to as an early ultrasound) prior to 14 weeks of pregnancy. The number and timing of ultrasounds may vary for women with specific health issues, including asthma and obesity.

    So, when do you get your first ultrasound for pregnancy in Ontario?

    The most accurate method for “dating” a pregnancy is to perform an early ultrasound. The Canadian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that all women undergo two ultrasounds: one “dating” ultrasound between 11-14 weeks and one “anatomic” ultrasound between 18-20 weeks.

    Your doctor or midwife may advise an early ultrasound if you’ve had issues in the past, such as a miscarriage or bleeding in the first few weeks of current pregnancy. This occurs when you are between six and ten weeks pregnant.

    If your healthcare practitioner determines that an early ultrasound is necessary, she can typically send you for one straight away. Rather than going through your belly, it is done as a transvaginal ultrasound. This is due to the fact that a transvaginal scan, as opposed to transabdominal ultrasound, might provide a clearer view of your baby early in pregnancy, since the ultrasound waves have a shorter distance and fewer obstacles to overcome on their way to the baby. An ultrasound from the top of the abdomen is an option if the bay is big enough and your bladder is full enough.

    What is a dating ultrasound and when do you get it?

    A dating ultrasound provides a precise assessment of your pregnancy’s stage. Many women are unsure of the exact date of conception. Depending on the development of your fetus, ultrasound may tell you how many weeks pregnant you are.

    What is the best time for dating ultrasound?

    When performed between 7 and 12 weeks into a pregnancy, dating ultrasounds are most reliable when the fetus’s crown-rump length is measured. Within five days, this typically predicts the anticipated birthdate.

    Your prenatal care, from your first trimester through labour, depends on knowing where you are in your pregnancy.

    What is anatomic ultrasound and when do you get it?

    This ultrasound is normally performed between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, during the second trimester. This sort of ultrasound examines your baby’s anatomy, as the title suggests. There will be an evaluation of the number of fetuses, gestational age, and placement of the placenta.

    The sonographer will measure your baby several times to look for any abnormalities. Images will be taken to show the development of your baby’s brain, face, heart, spine, chest, major organs, feet, and hands. She’ll also check the vessels in the umbilical cord and the location of the placenta.

    Your cervix, uterus, ovaries, and bladder will be examined for any anomalies as well as the amount of fluid surrounding the baby. Your doctor will conduct Anatomic ultrasound during early pregnancy if she thinks that you are at high risk for fetal abnormalities (11-16 weeks). 

    When is third trimester ultrasound done?

    Obstetricians are increasingly referring women for two third-trimester ultrasounds, often at 28 and 36 weeks, because there is considerable evidence that this provides for improved diagnosis of growth abnormalities and ensures better results for newborns.

    How early can an ultrasound detect pregnancy?

    The earliest a healthy pregnancy inside the uterus can be detected by an ultrasound screening is 17 days after the egg was released from the ovary (ovulation). This is around three days after a period was missed.

    There is a period of around a week between the first positive urine pregnancy test and the earliest the pregnancy is detectable on a scan because pregnancy tests are more sensitive and turn positive a few days before the period is missed.

    How many ultrasounds do you get during pregnancy in Ontario?

    In Ontario, the recommended number of ultrasounds during pregnancy is two, with one “dating” ultrasound at 11-14 weeks and one “anatomic” ultrasound between 18-20 weeks, according to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

    The first should be done during the first trimester to determine the due date, and the second should be done between 18 and 22 weeks to confirm proper anatomy and the baby’s gender. As long as these ultrasounds are normal and the mom’s abdomen measures in line with her pregnancy, that is all most women need.

    If there are any issues with these initial ultrasounds, or if the fetal size changes along the way, a follow-up ultrasound is recommended. Moreover, if mothers have medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, they will be subjected to extra scans.

    How to prepare for a pregnancy ultrasound?

    After scheduling an appointment for an ultrasound, your healthcare professional may offer you a sheet of instructions detailing what to do next. People who are pregnant for fewer than 14 weeks are typically advised to fill their bladders before the exam.

    Sound waves travel more effectively through a liquid, therefore a full bladder helps boost the ultrasound’s quality. Due to the growing size of the uterus and fetus, this becomes less important as the pregnancy progresses; however, some doctors still request that patients arrive at their ultrasound session with full bladders.

    Final words

    Ultrasounds during pregnancy are safe and deliver vital details to your doctor so that he or she can provide the finest care possible.

    Your first ultrasound, like many other stages of your pregnancy, may be both exciting and stressful. If possible, bring a support person and try not to panic if you don’t see what you’re anticipating; it may simply be too early 😊.

    If you’re looking for a reliable, experienced ultrasound clinic in Toronto, we offer 3D ultrasounds that will give you and your family peace of mind during this exciting time. Make an appointment today to see what our team can do for you.

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