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You may receive an ultrasound to check for changes in the cervix (thinning, opening or shortening) if your doctor thinks you may be at risk of preterm labor.
Additionally, ultrasounds are a part of several other tests, including: If you're getting an ultrasound before week 6 or 7, your practitioner will likely perform a transvaginal ultrasound.
It's a way to: Routine second trimester ultrasounds are usually done in 2D; most practitioners reserve the more detailed 3D and 4D ultrasounds for only when medically necessary, to more closely examine a fetus for a suspected anomaly, since there are mixed opinions on the safety of the ultrasound technology.
Sometimes a mom-to-be will have additional ultrasounds over the course of her pregnancy if she's considered high-risk.
Ultrasounds can last from five to 30 minutes and are painless, except for the discomfort of the full bladder necessary for the first-trimester transabdominal exam.