Pregnancy 101: What can I expect during my 18 to 20 week (gender determination) ultrasound?
The 18-20 week ultrasound is a “biggie” for most parents who want to find out baby’s gender before he or she is born. (Read about why some doctors order ultrasounds at 18 versus 20 weeks HERE.)
This ultrasound is first and foremost ordered by your OBGYN to check on baby’s development. The ultrasound tech generally first looks for a long list of healthy baby measurements from heart to kidneys and everything in between. Be sure to ask the tech what you are seeing on the screen to maximize your experience. Most techs aren’t allowed to share their interpretations of the findings of your ultrasound, except for when it comes to gener determination. That portion of the ultrasound is generally the last thing done during this visit. And boy is it exciting!
The tech will look over baby from a variety of angles for boy or girl parts. The tech will give you their estimated acuracy of what they’ve found. If she doesn’t be sure to ask. Most will usually rate thier gender findings at 80-90%. Be sure to follow up with your doctor to confirm the findings on all of the tests.
Check out a slide show of ultrasounds showing boy and girl parts HERE. All the ones in that article are proven 100% to be the boy or girl parts, confirmed at baby’s delivery!
Sometimes doctors order a follow up ultrasound a few weeks later to get better look at baby’s kidneys or other parts the tech may not have been able to see well enough. Or if the tech spots a problem, your OBGYN may order a more detailed ultrasound sooner.
Otherwise, your next chance to see your growing baby would be during a growth check ultrasound (these are around 34 weeks pregnant) but they aren’t routinely ordered. You could also opt for a 3D ultrasound. Read more about why I recommend that experience HERE.
Check out even more pregnancy-related stories HERE.
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