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2 Bumps

Can I ( or should I) refuse a second Ultrasound?

I was given an ultrasound when my pregnancy test was positive. The ultrasound showed a 16 wk baby, twisting and turning, with a 153 per minute heartbeat. Two legs, two arms, ribs, spine, skull...seemed like all the important bits were there.

I was told I should obtain a second ultrasound at 20 weeks, but I'm not sure I want one.

First of all, the cost is terrifying: $800. That's a lot of cash I could be spending on health insurance or preparing the nursery instead of learning the gender (amongst other info, of course) of the baby.

Second, I wouldn't terminate even if a problem were detected with the baby. And I think that having a certain defect confirmed at 20 weeks would cause me to spend the rest of my pregnancy in utter panic.

So how comfortable are Doctors with not having the 20 week ultrasound? Can I refuse or am I selfishly risking the baby's health by not wanting to do another ultrasound?



Asked by GoodyBrook at 9:57 PM on Nov. 2, 2010 in Pregnancy

Level 24 (20,116 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • Perhaps you can find a facility to do your ultrasound for less than $800... that sounds a little outrageous. REALLY outrageous.

    Not only COULD you learn baby's sex and detect SOME defects that you could live without knowing about (DS, etc) but the 2nd ultrasound is moreso to make sure that baby is growing properly, and that the heart and brain are developing correctly. I would much rather be able to prepare myself for my child having to face surgery... what happens if one of the valves on your baby's heart grows closed? What if there's a hole in the heart? What if the baby's kidneys aren't developing? That could mean stillbirth.

    I think it would be wise to find a place that you can get an ultrasound yourself, (like a 3D place) and have the measurements sent to your doctor.

    Answer by matobe at 10:13 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • You don't need a 2nd ultrasound at all. All you have said makes sense. Remember doctors are performing a service for you. You are the boss here. With my last child I chose not to have any ultrasounds. I too would not have consider termination for a defect.  My midwife was fine with my choice.  this link might help confort you


    Answer by Lynette at 10:06 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • many would argue that you are protecting your health by limiting ultrasounds. :) you certainly can refuse. if your OB isn't comfortable, you can hopefully find someone else! :)

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 10:15 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • My thing is is I completely understand that you would not terminate but would it not be better to know to prepare for something that maybe wrong. I also think that it is when they really check their heart but I am definitely not a technician so hopefully someone else can give you a much better explanation of what they do.

    Answer by Melbornj at 10:01 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • Sorry if I steered you in the wrong direction.

    Answer by Melbornj at 10:09 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • And why wouldn't you want to see your baby anyway? I was thrilled to hear I was getting a 3rd!

    Answer by matobe at 10:15 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • i know those things are outrageous!! we waited until i was 20 weeks to have one done and we only got the one done cuz that was all we could afford! my doc was ok with it!

    Answer by Caroline2010 at 10:22 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • all those what if are not a reason to get the ultrasound. All those things will be detected soon after the baby is born. Not too likly that they would do surgery in utero. Also you can still get that ultrasound if the doctor notices that something is going wrong w/ the pregnancy and they need to find out more. Like say your belly wasn't growing at the right rate.  My midwife was fine w/ my choice to not have one unless something came up that we needed to find out more.  If they really wanted info a better time to get one would be even later in the pregnancy. 


    Answer by Lynette at 10:24 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • if you really dont want to get one, then dont. It's totally up to you; however if they were to detect a problem now you could save money by getting started now on finding providers to assist with any issues at discounted or donated rates. I hear you about the cost though. Times are tough financially if you dont want it and cant afford it just explain the situation to the doc and tell him you would prefer to not have it.

    Answer by AprylnAtticus at 11:29 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • Many women never do any ultrasounds because it's not standard unless there is an indication for many practices.

    And of course, U/Ss are modern but humankind has existed for centuries without...

    So even one could seem extravagant.


    Answer by doulala at 11:46 PM on Nov. 2, 2010