Many pregnant women are not aware that the parents can choose whether they
want a 20-week scan. The 20-week scan is not mandatory.
During the 20 week-scan, the development of the organs of the baby is extensively examined. A few points of focus are:
- Any signs of a split spine or a split skull.
- Diseases or disfunctions that can be discovered through a 20-week scan, such as a cleft lip, clubfoot, heart problems, deviations of the organs or the umbilical cord.
- The growth of the baby.
- The amount of amniotic fluid.
- The location of the placenta.
The 20 week-scan is a reasonably reliable method to discover serious congenital defects. The important thing to realise is that even though many diseases and disorders can be discovered, this does not go for all of them. If you choose to have this ultrasound, keep in mind that other deviations may be discovered as well. The scan is not dangerous for you or the baby.
Follow-up test in case of a deviating result
The follow-up test consists of an extensive ultrasound examination, also referred to as an advanced ultrasound test (AUT or GUO), carried out by a gynaecologist in a specialised hospital. Your child will be further examined there. You may also be offered an amniocentesis or a blood test. In case of an amniocentesis there is a small risk of a miscarriage.
The scan takes about 40-50 minutes. It is a medical examination. There is a small chance that deviations will be discovered. That is why we want to ask you not to bring your children to the 20-week scan.
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