Ultrasound and 4D-ultrasound

An ultrasound examination during your pregnancy provides a variety of insights, showing the location of the amniotic sac at week 5 and the foetal heartbeat at week 7. Later on, it is possible to see the placental location, monitor foetal growth and amniotic fluid volume, and rule out a variety of developmental abnormalities and birth defects.

Early pregnancy ultrasound

This transvaginal ultrasound between weeks 6 and 9 examines the following:

  • whether the pregnancy is viable and not ectopic
  • the foetus’s vital signs (heartbeat)
  • the size of the foetus and the length of the pregnancy
  • the number of foetuses

If your menstrual cycle is regular and of normal length (28—30 days), the amniotic sac in your uterus can be seen after week 5 (35 days from your last period). The foetus is visible and its heartbeat can usually be detected after week 6 (appr. 42 days after your last period). The procedure is totally safe for the foetus.

Ultrasound screening for Trisomy between weeks 11 and 13

Provides information about:

  • due date
  • number of foetuses
  • risks for Trisomy 21 and other chromosomal abnormalities
  • the anatomy of the foetus (50% of abnormalities can already be seen after week 11)

Currently the risk for Trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome) is calculated on the basis of the mother’s age, serum marker levels of Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A) and free ß-human chorionic gonadotrophin (free ß-hCG), and Nuchal translucency (NT). The accuracy of the combined screening is approximately 85%, with a false positive rate of approximately 5%. At Femeda the ultrasound is performed by an experienced consultant between 10+6 and 12+6 weeks of pregnancy, either through your abdomen or transvaginally.

Ultrasound anatomy examination

As a rule, the examination is performed through your abdominal wall between weeks 18 and 22. It provides information about:

  • the anatomy of the foetus
  • the size and estimated weight of the foetus
  • the placental location
  • amniotic fluid volume
  • placental and uterine circulation
  • A cervical assessment will be performed transvaginally if needed.

3D/4D ultrasound

The latest ultrasound machines and transducers provide not just a 2D but also a 3D visualisation. The latter can be viewed as still images (3D mode) or live streaming (4D mode). The 3D mode is used by gynaecologists to examine the uterus and the ovaries, or during pregnancy when the foetus is not moving. The 4D mode is used when the foetus is moving. Otherwise 3D and 4D images are identical.

4D ultrasound utilises all the available imaging methods (2D, 3D, 4D, colour Doppler energy) to achieve the best results. The 3D and 4D ultrasound examination is performed by docent Bruno Cacciatore.

Third trimester ultrasound

An ultrasound examination is performed if:

  • it is suspected that the foetus measures small for gestational age
  • fundal height increases more or less quickly than expected
  • the foetus seems less mobile
  • the mother has diabetes, high blood pressure or cholestasis of pregnancy
  • the mother is expecting multiples
  • the mother has contractions and there is a possibility of premature delivery
  • the pregnancy is high-risk
  • the mother has pain in the lower abdomen or bloody discharge

The examination includes an estimate of the foetal weight and amniotic fluid volume, as well as a Doppler assessment of the placental and foetal circulation. Cervical length is measured using transvaginal sonography.


Ultrasound specialists in Femeda

Ansa Aitokallio-Tallberg

Ansa Aitokallio-Tallberg

D.Med.Sc., Specialist, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Specialist, Perinatology

Cacciatore Bruno

Bruno Cacciatore

Docent, Specialist, Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Erja Halmesmäki

Erja Halmesmäki

Docent, Specialist, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Specialist, Perinatology

Mika Nuutila

Mika Nuutila

Docent, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Specialist, Perinatology

Laura Seikku

Laura Seikku

D. Med.Sc., Specialist, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Specialist, Perinatology