Skip to content

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Level II Ultrasound

By
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD

Who Gets the Test?

Many women get a level II ultrasound -- or targeted ultrasound. Most doctors suggest them for all pregnant women. Others use them to follow up if an earlier test result was unclear.

What the Test Does

A level II ultrasound is similar to a standard ultrasound. The difference is that your doctor will get more detailed information. Your doctor may focus on  specific parts of your baby's body, such as his or her brain, heart, or the other organs.

You may get a targeted ultrasound in your second trimester. It can help check your baby for some birth defects, such as Down syndrome.

How the Test Is Done

A level II ultrasound is just like a regular abdominal ultrasound. You'll lie down and a technician will put a special gel on your belly. This will help carry the sound waves. Then the technician will hold a probe against your belly and move it around to get an image. You may need to go into the test with a full bladder. This will make the test results more clear.

What to Know About Test Results

Your doctor will probably give you the results after the exam. A normal result should be reassuring. However, keep in mind that ultrasounds are not always accurate. They can't diagnose or rule out many problems.

If your doctor sees something of concern in an ultrasound, try not to worry. Many women with unusual ultrasounds go on to have healthy babies. Your doctor may suggest further ultrasounds or other tests.

How Often the Test Is Done During Your Pregnancy

Many women get a level II ultrasound at about 18 to 20 weeks.

Other Names for This Test

Targeted ultrasound, advanced ultrasound, level II sonogram, fetal anomaly scan

Tests Similar to This One

Ultrasound

Reviewed on May 23, 2014

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
 
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
 
slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 
pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video