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elective vs medical ultrasound baton rouge

Elective vs. Medical Ultrasound: Which is Better for Pregnancy?

Women often choose to get an ultrasound for pregnancy-related purposes. But, they may not know the difference between elective and medical ultrasounds. What’s the difference? And why does it matter?

In this blog post, we’ll explore elective vs. medical ultrasounds, as well as the implications of each.

What is a Diagnostic Ultrasound?

A medical ultrasound (diagnostic ultrasound) is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency ultrasound waves to produce an image of the inside of a person’s body.

Modern ultrasound technology uses echoes from ultrasonic pulses transmitted into the patient’s body, then analyzed by a computer to create an image.

Ultrasound is different from sonography which uses sound waves generated externally of the human body and transmitted through the body in the same manner as ultrasound.

difference between elective vs medical ultrasound

What is a pregnancy medical ultrasound?

A pregnancy medical ultrasound examines a pregnant woman’s uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

The procedure uses sound waves to produce images on a screen that can reveal all these areas’ size, shape, and position. Ultrasounds can also determine the age of the pregnancy and estimate how many fetuses there are in the uterus.

This prenatal ultrasound also helps your doctor or OB/GYN check on other things that may be going on with your baby’s health during pregnancy, in addition to allowing them to see how big they are growing or if there are any problems based on what is seen so far!

Pregnancy ultrasounds also can be used to diagnose any abnormalities in pregnancy. For instance, if your doctor suspects that you have an ectopic pregnancy or a pregnancy outside of the uterus (Intrauterine pregnancy), they will be able to tell immediately during the ultrasound procedure.

Pregnancy medical ultrasounds are also used to see any congenital disabilities, such as if the baby has spina bifida or anything else abnormal with your baby’s internal organs.

How much does a pregnancy medical ultrasound cost?

A pregnancy ultrasound can be expensive, with the average cost being around $200-$300. This varies depending on where you get your sonogram and if you have insurance coverage for it!

When should you get a pregnancy medical ultrasound?

Typically you will have pregnancy ultrasounds around 8 weeks, 20 weeks, and 35 weeks into your pregnancy.

Your doctor may order pregnancy ultrasounds as early as 5-6 weeks if they suspect a problem with your pregnancy or if you had a very irregular menstrual cycle or pregnancy symptoms that lead them to believe that there could be problems.

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What is a pregnancy elective ultrasound?

Unlike a medical pregnancy ultrasound, pregnancy elective ultrasounds are taken at the discretion of the pregnant woman or couple and are used for non-medical purposes.

Typically, an elective ultrasound is done to determine the baby’s gender, although not all doctors will perform elective pregnancy ultrasounds for this purpose!

An elective pregnancy ultrasound is typically performed for one of several reasons:

  • Gender determination
  • For pregnancy following up and checking up on pregnancy in general
  • To get a better look at your baby as it grows
  • To allow family and friends to come in and see your unborn baby, especially if they are far away.
  • To get photos and videos of your baby in the womb.

Unlike a diagnostic ultrasound ordered by a healthcare provider, an elective prenatal ultrasound is performed at a studio.

Some of the benefits of this are:

  • You can be more relaxed than in a clinical setting
  • Ultrasound studios aren’t as rushed as an OB/GYN’s office
  • You can also get printouts of the baby pictures and videos for yourself!
  • You can invite family members to create a positive bonding experience.
  • You can see your baby’s facial features and body on a big screen TV.
  • Most studios offer same-day appointments.
  • Ultrasound studios tend to accept cash.

This helps allow the family to be more involved in pregnancy or to include an extended family member or friends in pregnancy.

When should you get an elective prenatal ultrasound?

Whenever you want!

Whereas your doctor or OB/GYN schedules a medical diagnostic ultrasound, pregnancy elective ultrasounds are scheduled at the discretion of the pregnant patient.

Typically pregnancy elective ultrasounds are done as early as 7 weeks to 40 weeks, although some expectant mothers may opt to have them done earlier if they want to find out their baby’s gender!

How much does a pregnancy elective ultrasound cost?

Here at Look at Me 4D imaging, our ultrasound imaging packages start at $55 and can be customized to fit your pregnancy needs, including pregnancy dating, pregnancy planning, or pregnancy gender identification.

Speaking of gender, if you’re planning a gender reveal party, be sure to check out our newest blog post: How to Host a Gender Reveal Party

For more information about our pregnancy ultrasound packages, please contact us at (225) 435-9749 today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Ultrasounds

Here are some frequently asked questions about pregnancy ultrasounds:


There’s no denying that seeing your baby in the womb is a magical experience. Seeing your unborn child move and grow is one of those experiences that will make you want to share it with friends and family.

Our 3D/4D Ultrasounds are a great way to bond with your child before they’re born and hear their heartbeat for the first time. 

Look at Me 4D Imaging offers affordable ultrasounds that allow parents-to-be to view their unborn babies up close and personal!

Our affordable elective ultrasounds allow moms-to-be to see their growing babies at every stage of development – from conception through birth!

This service makes it possible for anyone who wants this special gift for themselves or someone else – regardless of financial situation – so everyone can enjoy this incredible experience. We offer our services throughout the Baton Rouge metropolitan area and are conveniently located in Livingston, Louisiana.

Please contact us for more information about our pregnancy ultrasounds. We can’t wait to help you see your baby.

Or you can check out our ultrasound packages below:


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