The 13-week ultrasound is a medical examination for physical abnormalities in your child. This ultrasound is very similar to the 20-week ultrasound. In both examinations, a specially trained sonographer examines your child extensively.
The 13-week ultrasound can be performed between 12+3 and 14+3 weeks of pregnancy. So from twelve weeks and three days up to and including fourteen weeks and three days of pregnancy.
Not all abnormalities can be detected yet: Some are too small to be seen at this term and some do not appear until later in the pregnancy. Imaging may also not be optimal for all pregnant women, for example due to overweight, scar tissue in the abdominal wall or position of the child. The 13-week ultrasound is not repeated if the sonographer could not see everything well. (This is in contrast to the 20-week ultrasound, which will be repeated in case of insufficient imaging)
During the 13-week ultrasound, the sonographer purposefully does not check whether it is a boy or a girl.
The sonographer will tell you the results immediately after the ultrasound. In 95 out of 100 pregnancies, the sonographer sees no indication of an abnormality. No further investigation is necessary.
In about 5 out of 100 pregnant women, the sonographer sees something that could be an abnormality. It is not always clear whether it is indeed an abnormality, how bad the abnormality is and what this means for your child. Did the sonographer see anything abnormal? You can then opt for follow-up research.
If there is a suspicion of abnormalities, a pregnant woman can, if she and her partner so wish, be referred for a GUO (Advanced Ultrasound Examination) in the hospital. This is also an ultrasound that is done by a specially trained gynecologist.
This ultrasound is covered by your health insurance.
For more information, please refer onderzoekvanmijnongeborenkind.nl (some parts of the website are in English).
In the Netherlands you can only opt for the 13-week ultrasound if you participate in the scientific IMITAS study. This study investigates the advantages and disadvantages of the 13-week ultrasound.