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The 20 Week Scan: What to Expect

A professional sonographer conducting a pivotal 20-week scan, offering a detailed peek into the baby’s development.

Welcome to the halfway mark, Mama!

If you’re about to have your 20 week scan, you’re probably feeling super excited to see how much your baby has developed since your last scan around 12 weeks. This ultrasound is also known as the 20 week anatomy scan. It aims to assess your baby’s growth and development. It also takes a good look at how all of their organs are developing. At this time, the sonographer should also be able to give you an indication of your baby’s sex. Please know that it’s purely optional to find out. I know a lot of families like to keep this a surprise for the day baby is born too!

How is the 20 week scan done?

The 20 week scan is generally offered between weeks 18-21. It will be carried out in a similar manner to your 12 week scan. The sonographer will use an ultrasound wand over different parts of your belly to get a good look at your baby from different angles. They’ll take measurements to see how baby is tracking in comparison to their gestation. They’ll also check your little one’s organs and look for the location of your placenta. The sonographer will also be looking for signs of any anomalies or congenital conditions.

Can I find out my baby’s sex at the 20 week scan?

At 20 weeks, your baby’s genitalia is developed enough for the sonographer to determine your baby’s gender. However – that all depends on how cooperative your baby is. They occasioanlly “hide” during the ultrasound which can make it difficult to determine.

Will I receive any results after my 20 week scan?

The sonographer will not generally discuss any results with you during the scan. This is normally compiled into a report which your provider will discuss with you, if needed, within a few days (depending on your area). If any additional testing is required, your provider will let you know as soon as possible.

Pregnant Mamas make sure you check out our FREE Prenatal class that 8 out of 10 new mothers say they wish they took before birth to ease their stress and worries. You can even watch it at your own pace from the comforts of your own home! Sign up here!

It’s important to note that ultrasounds should be discussed with a healthcare provider to ensure safety and suitability for individual circumstances. This blog is general education only. For any personal based advice regarding you or your baby please seek advice from your own healthcare professional.

  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2022). Ultrasound: Sonogram. American Pregnancy Association.
  2. NHS. (2022, September 16). Ultrasound scans in pregnancy.
  3. Salomon, L., Alfirevic, Z., Berghella, V., Bilardo, C. M., Chalouhi, G. E., Da Silva Costa, F., Hernandez-Andrade, E., Malinger, G., Muñoz, H., Paladini, D., Prefumo, F., Sotiriadis, A., Toi, A., & Lee, W. (2022). ISUOG Practice Guidelines (updated): performance of the routine mid‐trimester fetal ultrasound scan. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 59(6), 840–856.
  4. Springhall, E. A., Rolnik, D. L., Reddy, M., Ganesan, S., Maxfield, M., Ramkrishna, J., Meagher, S., Teoh, M., & Da Silva Costa, F. (2018). How to perform a sonographic morphological assessment of the fetus at 11-14 weeks of gestation. Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 21(3), 125–137.