Which Is The Most Important Scan During Pregnancy?
Since you are here to learn which is the most important scan during pregnancy, let me tell you that according to gynecologists, an anatomy Scan is the one! This scan, also known as Anomaly Scan, occurs during the second trimester of pregnancy.
Typically, doctors use ultrasound modality for performing this test. The anatomy scan is to check the growth of the fetus inside your womb and reveal if there are any complications.
Now, do you want to know what this scan is and what its purpose is? Do you seek to learn about the conditions an anomaly scan can detect? Do you want to know how accurate this scan is?
Well, this article can tell you all. So, to fill your knowledge gaps and stay prepared for your parental care during pregnancy, get ready to read what’s coming!
What is an Anatomy/Anomaly Scan?
The scan that looks into your baby’s anatomical structure and detects anomalies (or abnormalities) is what medical science calls an anatomy or anomaly scan. Although this scan is not mandatory for you to up-take, doctors recommend it as a part of your parental care. This scan gives your doctor an in-detailed report of the fetus growing within you.
An anatomy scan diagnoses the child’s heart, brain, spinal cord, kidney, facial features, bones, cartilage, and so forth! It is precisely why an anatomy scan is the most common answer given by medical experts when asked about which is the most important scan during pregnancy! The scan takes place within the 18th to 22nd week of your pregnancy. Sometimes, it may also get pursued before or during the 24th week, depending on your doctor’s analysis and practice.
During the scan, the doctor can also find the baby’s sex by looking into the genitals. However, your doctor may not give you this information according to the healthcare protocols, as female feticide is rampant in our country, India. The scan shall also check the cervix length and position of the placenta. It shall also assess the number of amniotic fluids present around the baby.
You do not need to worry about your or your baby’s safety in this regard, as an ultrasound lay used for this purpose, not an X-Ray, CT (Computed Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or PET (Positron Emission Tomography). An ultrasound uses sound waves to capture the internal images of your body, and it does not involve invasion or radiation.
Why Does your Doctor Recommend an Anatomy Scan During Pregnancy?
Doctors recommend an anatomy scan during pregnancy because they want to be sure that your baby is growing and developing well. They want to know whether a birth deficit exists in the fetus so that they can plan an early surgery, if needed, to save both you and your child.
Some of the anatomical abnormalities that your doctor can identify and assess using this scan are –
1. Cleft Lips – It is the congenital condition where the baby in your womb grows with an opening in the lip, typically the upper lip. It happens when the lip tissues in the fetus cannot completely join.
2. Anencephaly – This is a defect in your baby’s brain and skull. In this condition, your baby does not have a large part of the skull. The cerebral hemisphere in the brain fails to develop too!
3. Open Spina Bifida – It is a congenital birth disorder where your baby’s spinal column does not form appropriately, thereby creating gaps in the spine!
4. Gastroschisis – This anatomical abnormality involves abnormal growth of the baby’s intestines outside the abdominal area. The intestines grow through the hole by the belly button.
5. Exomphalos – This congenital birth disorder occurs in the abdomen wall. Herein, the abdominal organs of the baby, such as the liver and the stomach, develop within a sac.
6. Cardiac Abnormalities – Your baby may have defects like a hole in the heart, defeated valves that fail to open or close properly, narrowed arteries, etc.
7. Diaphragmatic Hernia – This anatomical abnormality entails a hole in your baby’s diaphragm.
8. Bilateral Renal Agenesis – This is a defect in your baby’s kidney. In other words, your baby’s kidney does not develop properly.
9. Lethal Skeletal Dysplasia – It is a genetic birth disorder. If your baby has this condition, the bones and cartilages are likely to grow abnormally.
10. Patau’s’ Syndrome – It is also a genetic condition where a third additional chromosome 13 exists in your baby’s gene. Thereupon, the baby grows with deformities!
11. Edward Syndrome – This genetic defect in your baby occurs due to the presence of an additional chromosome 18. During this case, your baby tends to grow absurdly.
Although the aforementioned conditions are very rare to occur, your doctor does not want to miss identifying anything that can turn life-threatening during delivery. Your doctor wants to keep you and your baby safe!
Is An Anatomy Scan Accurate: What Do Studies Reveal?
When it comes to the question of which is the most important scan during pregnancy, it is, of course, the anatomy scan. But why? Is that so accurate in diagnosing your baby’s anatomical structures?
Well, it is! According to multiple pieces of research, an anomaly scan holds a 90 to 95% accuracy rate in identifying and examining abnormal birth conditions during pregnancy. Studies also show how sensitive and specific it is in diagnosing congenital conditions.
- As per CRANE, a 20th-week anatomy scan can help find cleft lips for nearly 81% of the cases.
- NHS Anomaly Screening Program shows that an anatomy scan during the second trimester of pregnancy can detect congenital diaphragmatic hernia for about 60% of the cases.
- NCBI or National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals that an anatomy ultrasound scan reserves 98.3% specificity and 94.7 % sensitivity in examining open Spina bifida.
- Many studies note that an anatomy ultrasound during mid-pregnancy can detect congenital heart diseases in almost 70% of the cases.
- Researches even showcase that a 14th to 21st-week anatomy ultrasound scan can diagnose Edwards’ syndrome with nearly 90% accuracy.
So, can you now understand why an anatomy or anomaly scan is the most prominent answer to which is the most important scan during pregnancy? I hope you do! If you have more doubts, you can drop your question at www.mrichandigarh.com.
Meanwhile, you must see your doctor and continue consulting with her for your pregnancy-related care!