Since 1 September 2021, pregnant women in the Netherlands are offered an ultrasound scan around the 13th week of their pregnancy. This 13-week scan is offered in addition to the 20-week scan which was already available to detect physical abnormalities in your unborn child.
This new ultrasound is intended to detect severe physical abnormalities at an earlier stage, allowing more time for any follow-up examinations to assess the severity and potential consequences of the abnormality found.
The results of the ultrasound will be discussed with you immediately. Your baby’s sex will not be revealed to you. You will be referred to AMC for follow-up examinations if any physical abnormality is suspected. It is entirely your own decision whether or not to have a follow-up examination and what to do with the results.
Just like the 20-week ultrasound, the 13-week scan is covered by your health insurance company. The 13-week ultrasound does not replace the 20-week ultrasound, which can detect abnormalities that are not yet visible during the 13-week ultrasound. It is also not a replacement for the NIPT. The purpose of the NIPT is to screen for chromosomal abnormalities. You can read more on NIPT in our blog.
The 13-week scan is only available if you agree to participate in the scientific IMITAS study and give permission for your data to be used. The IMITAS study will investigate the advantages and disadvantages of the 13-week scan. Early detection of physical abnormalities can be an advantage, but can also lead to more anxiety and uncertainty. The study will also investigate how pregnant women, their partners and healthcare professionals experience this scan. The results are expected in 2024. Following that, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will decide whether the 13-week scan will be permanently implemented as part of prenatal screening.
During the intake with your midwife, we will provide you with more information on the 13-week scan. Click on the link if you already want more information about the 13-week scan now.