Ultrasound FAQs

Ultrasound at Meridian OB/GYN follows the AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine) guidelines and employs a registered (ARDMS) ultrasonographer who specializes in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. We have high-resolution ultrasound machines, including those with 3D/4D capabilities, and handheld "pocket" scanners for the doctors use during your visit. 2D imaging is used routinely during your scan as well as a large monitor so you and your family can better see the images. In addition to your medical needs, we also offer keepsake recording and pictures for your baby album.

How many ultrasounds do we get with our pregnancy?

In a normal singleton pregnancy you will receive two routine scans. The first will be for dating purposes and is usually done in the first 13 weeks. The second is usually done at 20 weeks. This exam is called a fetal survey for malformation screening. We check the baby from head to toe make sure that everything we can see is well formed. At this time we are usually able to tell the sex if you wish to know. ⁣

These are generally the only ultrasounds that are allowed under most insurance plans. If there is a complication or underlying medical condition, such as twin pregnancy, high blood pressure or diabetes, you may need more scans.⁣


How soon can we find out the sex of the baby?

With rare exceptions we are unable to tell you the gender of the baby until the second trimester at the 20-week anatomy screen. We usually do not schedule this test before 20 weeks.

Panorama Blood Testing can be done as early as 9 weeks. This blood testing is a noninvasive prenatal screening test (NIPT) that reveals your baby’s risk for genetic disorders along with the gender of your baby.

optional ultrasound at 14 weeks for $75 to find out (nondiagnostic entertainment ultrasound to discover your baby’s gender)


What is the difference between 4D ultrasound and 3D ultrasound images?

4D ultrasound utilize 3D ultrasound images, however, 4D ultrasound add the element of time to the process, which results in live-action ultrasound images of your baby. The 4th dimension is time. This means we are able to see the baby moving in 3D.


Do I need a full bladder for my obstetrical or gynecological ultrasound?

Generally you do not need a full bladder. For obstetrical scans we ask that you don’t empty your bladder until your scan is over. We can assess your cervix better if your bladder is somewhat full. Also, you will be leaving a urine specimen if you are seeing your doctor after your scan.


Can I still be scanned if I am on my period?

Yes, we are usually able to scan if you are menstruating. We frequently scan patient’s who are having bleeding issues. Just let us know you are bleeding when we take you into the room. If you are being seen for abnormal bleeding please try to schedule your pelvic ultrasound in the week just after your period ends. We are better able to assess the uterine lining at that time.


Is a prenatal ultrasound safe for me and my baby?

Numerous studies have shown that an ultrasound is not harmful to either you or your baby. Unlike an x-ray test, an ultrasound does not use radiation.


How should one prepare for an ultrasound?

No special preparation is needed for an ultrasound. However, some women are encouraged by their doctor to drink 4-6 glasses of water before the test, which, due to the expansion of your bladder, will aid in the visibility of the baby.


Will insurance pay for the ultrasound?

An ultrasound is usually covered under most insurance policies as long as the procedure is deemed to be medically necessary. If you are seeking an ultrasound for reasons deemed to be non-essential, like for purposes of just finding out the sex of the baby, it is possible that your insurance company may not pay for the ultrasound.


What are the primary reasons for performing the ultrasound test?

the primary reasons for conducting the ultrasound test includes dating of the pregnancy, checking for fetal viability, screening for genetic defects or anomalies, and ruling out ectopic pregnancy.