Dutch health council wants extra ultrasound around 13th week of pregnancy

Ultrasound image of early pregnancy
Ultrasound image of early pregnancy Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons

Pregnant woman should get an extra ultrasound around the 13th week of pregnancy to detect abnormalities, the health council advised Dutch parliament on Thursday, NU.nl reports.

Currently the ultrasound is only done at 20 weeks, which gives the woman only four weeks to decide on whether or not to get an abortion if abnormalities are found. 

According to the health council, research shows that about half of the abnormalities that are detected at the 20 week ultrasound, can also be visible on an ultrasound at 13 weeks. These include serious conditions, "that are often incompatible with life."

The Health Council's ideal would be for pregnant women to receive three tests - the non-invasive NIPT test for chromosomal abnormalities like Down's Syndrome, an ultrasound at around 13 weeks and an ultrasound around 20 weeks.