What happens in the ultrasound

Ultrasound exams during pregnancy

Many pregnant women and their partners look forward to the ultrasounds. But “the first picture of the child” is of course not the reason why all pregnant women in Germany are offered ultrasound examinations. Rather, they should determine whether the pregnancy is going well and whether the child is developing normally.

In Germany, pregnant women with statutory health insurance are usually offered three so-called basic ultrasound examinations as free services. They are referred to in the English term for screening as "".

The main purpose of the basic ultrasound examinations is to assess whether the pregnancy and the child's development are proceeding normally. This is the rule: 96 to 98 out of 100 pregnant women give birth to a healthy child. Sometimes, however, the ultrasound shows abnormalities that then lead to further examinations - and possibly difficult decisions.

Doctors are obliged to explain the advantages and disadvantages before the ultrasound. The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) has published a detailed information brochure to support the investigation. Every pregnant woman can forego one or all of the ultrasound examinations without giving reasons. A waiver also has no consequences for insurance cover.

It is best to discuss with your gynecologist whether a pregnant woman would like to see the ultrasound images and which results should be communicated before the examination. For example, if you do not want to know the gender of the child or certain findings, it is important to make this clear before the examination.