“Why does my OB-GYN office wait until after 20 weeks to do my ultrasound?”
There could be many reasons why your doctor waits until later to do your 20 week or anatomy scan. Ultimately, it has been my experience that most insurance companies only pay for one ultrasound scan during your pregnancy unless there are problems. Your doctor wants that one ultrasound scan to be able to show them detailed anatomy inside the baby’s body.
Depending on the ultrasound machine they use, most anatomy isn’t done forming and visible to ultrasound until after 20-21 weeks. Your doctor wants to make sure that the sonographer for their practice will be able to see all the anatomy clearly so you won’t have to come back for another ultrasound. Having to come back would cost you an out of pocket expense since the insurance company will not pay for another one for any reason.
Your doctor is mainly focused on the health and well-being of your baby. Although to you, the gender is an important aspect of planning your baby’s nursery, clothing etcetera, to your doctor, the gender takes a backseat to the baby’s growth and development. They just want to make sure that all the organs are there and are growing normally. In order to do that, they have to wait a few weeks longer to let the anatomy get a little larger. When you have an elective ultrasound done, most of the time you will have to sign a liability release form saying that it is not for diagnostic purposes. That form says that they will not be looking at any anatomy, just the gender and pretty pictures. With these studios, the 3D/4D machines that will be used are all state of the art and quite expensive. Most doctors’ offices do not need such expensive equipment to check the anatomy, but, for an elective 3D/4D ultrasound studio, it is essential. One of the good things for you is that in purchasing these state of the art machines, the owner of this studio will be able to tell you the gender of your little one as early as sixteen weeks as well as giving you some extremely detailed pictures of their face and extremities.