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Different Types Of Ultrasound Screening

The first level ultrasound consists of the ultrasound performed on the territory to all the pregnant women.

The regional protocol foresees three echography:

The first trimester, at 10-13 weeks, aims to confirm the viability of the foetus and to date pregnancy, i.e. to establish whether the size of the foetus is compatible with the weeks of reported amenorrhea. Furthermore, in the evaluation of twin pregnancies, the determination of chronicity (= number of placentas) plays a fundamental role.


The second trimester, at 18-22 weeks (morphological), aims to evaluate the anatomy of the foetus, according to the guidelines. The guidelines are directives that guarantee a quality standard (ie the operator is obliged to look at certain fundamental structures). The amount of amniotic fluid and the position of the placenta are also observed during the examination. Furthermore, the foetus is measured to check that growth is regular and that development proceeds normally.

The third trimester, at 30-34 weeks (growth), aims to assess foetal growth. The amount of amniotic fluid and the position of the placenta is also checked.

What is second level ultrasound?

The level 2 ultrasound is an ultrasound on indication that is aimed at solving a specific question. Local operators send the patient for more detailed control in a centre where more sophisticated ultrasound machines are available. The indications for the second level can be multiple:

  • Suspected malformation
  • Finding of soft markers
  • Control of foetal growth, if there is a suspicion of a defect or over-growth
  • Reduction or excess of amniotic fluid
  • Taking teratogenic drugs in pregnancy
  • Infection in pregnancy
  • Some maternal pathologies, for example insulin-dependent diabetes
  • Previous born with malformation
  • Increased alpha-fetoprotein in amniotic fluid

What is third-level ultrasound?

In the case where second level ultrasound has been confirmed as the existence of a malformation picture, the ultrasound evaluation will be performed by personnel who are particularly expert in the evaluation of anatomy and in the management of foetal pathology. This must be done in accordance with the most modern concepts of foetal medicine, and with the help of the most recent literature data.

The expert in foetal medicine (who is an obstetric doctor), performs the diagnosis and uses the advice of professionals of different specialties: geneticist, pediatric cardiologist, infectivologist, orthopedist, neurologist, pediatric surgeon (depending on the malformation highlighted), who they are called to complete prenatal counseling and to establish continuity of treatment after birth.

What is the minimal ultrasound?

The minimal ultrasound is that ultrasound check that simply aims to supplement the clinical examination. The parameters that can be evaluated include, for example, the display of the fetal heart rate, the amount of amniotic fluid and the fetal presentation (ie the position of the foetus in utero). The ultrasound clinic that performs “minimum” checks is not required to issue a report, but can record the result of this check in the patient's medical record. It is therefore important to point out that not all doctors who handle ultrasound probes are ultrasound scanners, and that a check carried out without issuing written reports IS NOT AND DOES NOT REPLACE an official ultrasound scan.

Second Screening During Pregnancy: How To Prepare And Decipher The Results

Nowadays, doctors refer to every pregnant woman to an ultrasound scan. The standard implies three ultrasound examinations, regardless of the presence of complaints, even if the fetus is rated as healthy.

The so-called perinatal screenings include, in addition to ultrasound, a biochemical blood test of the expectant mother. Why screening for 2 trimesters is needed, and what are the standards for ultrasound, how long it is performed and why - we will talk about this and another in this article.

When is ultrasound prescribed?

A screening pregnancy ultrasound is usually performed 3 times since it is customary to divide the gestation period into 3 trimesters.

The first screening is done from the 10th to the 14th week of pregnancy, and often only this study involves a double test: in addition to ultrasound, an analysis of the venous blood of a pregnant woman is performed.

The results of such a procedure with an accurate statistical probability determine how possible the development of dangerous abnormalities in the fetus.

Second ultrasound screening, as a rule, does not include other tests. The exception is a suspicion of pathology during the first study or women of the so-called risk groups. An ultrasound of 2 trimesters is done from the 18-20th to the 24th week from the last menstruation. Compliance with the exact terms is very important since if they are inconsistent, the interpretation of ultrasound is considered inaccurate.

And finally, the third screening corresponds to the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, performed from the 30th to the 34th week.

Who needs a second screening, and why?

Level 2 ultrasound cost in Delhi in our country is prescribed for every pregnant woman, regardless of the presence of complaints. But you should be especially careful with the study of pregnant women at risk.

  • First pregnant women over 35 years old;
  • Closely married persons;
  • Pregnant women with a burdened obstetric and gynaecological history;
  • Parents with alcoholism and drug addiction.

But all other expectant mothers should treat the second ultrasound screening responsibly so as not to miss the occurrence of a threatening pregnancy pathology at an early stage. Correspondence of the screening result and the ultrasound norm will allow the woman to feel calm, realizing that everything is in order with her and the child.

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