Abnormal 20 Week Ultrasound: 7 Helpful Tips to Cope

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Receiving abnormal ultrasound results at 20 weeks is never easy. These 7 helpful tips can help you cope with your abnormal 20 week ultrasound better. 


Abnormal 20 Week Ultrasound

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was an exciting day in February and we were on our way to finding out if we were having a boy or a girl at our 20 week ultrasound. 

The older kids somehow convinced us to let them go with us to find out the results of our ultrasound. What could go wrong, right?

We headed back to the ultrasound room and the tech got everything all set up and began typing notes on the screen one which said “No abnormalities”

The ultrasound started and the kids started searching for little boys parts…. after a few minutes it was announced, “You are having a boy!”
Ty and the boys were ecstatic with the news. 
While the boys were cheering, I started noticing asterisks getting marked on my little boy’s brain, and then I watched the ultrasound tech delete the words from the screen, NO ABNORMALITIES, which were then replaced with sets of numbers. This had already been a difficult pregnancy for me, what was next?! 


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At that moment, the tears flooded my eyes as I searched for answers. As I asked questions the ultrasound tech simply stated that she was not allowed to read the results to me… I was stuck there sitting, panicking what on earth was wrong. 

The Abnormal Ultrasound Results

Soon after the ultrasound was done I saw my doctor, which with a big smile she told me there was nothing to worry about… Um…. Right!

She let us know that we basically had an abnormal 20 week ultrasound. She then said there are cysts on the choroid.
She said that it was no big deal and we had nothing to worry about. We would go to a level 2 ultrasound once the referral went through. We had a million questions, all of them unanswered.
We were stuck playing the waiting game with our abormal 20 week ultrasound results haunting us. 

Hope to Cope With Abnormal Pregnancy Ultrasound Results

I didn’t know how to cope with these abnormal ultrasound results at 20 weeks at first. It was difficult, I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I felt so guilty as if I had done something wrong. 
I had to quickly learn what to do to Cope with these results. Here’s what I did to help. 

Understand the Abnormal Ultrasounds Happen

I wish someone would have told me that abnormal ultrasounds happen. In fact 1 in every 21 women have abnormal 20 week ultrasound results. 

Rather than understanding this I went into panic mode and started looking up everything I could on cysts on the choroid. This led me down a rabbit hole only to realize that this could lead to Trisomy 18. 

I dwelled on this for several days… My suggestion is to understand abnormal ultrasounds happen all the time. 

Get a second opinion / Follow up appointment

One of the best ways to cope with your abnormal pregnancy results is to get a second opinion or to go to your follow up appointment.

Doing this will either validate the results of your first ultrasound or it will come back as there being no abnormalities.  

Occupy Your Time

Sometimes it takes a while to get into your second level ultrasound appointment. This allows you to have lots of time to think about the first set of results. 

During this time, find things to occupy your time, find new hobbies for stay at home moms, find new date ideas that don’t break the bank so you and your husband can go out together, or go on a weekend getaway together. 

This will help pass the time while you wait for your next ultrasound.

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Learn as much as you can

I urge you to wait to learn everything you can until after your secondary ultrasound. If you get the same results then it is time to research as much as you can about your results so that you are informed. 

When you begin researching prior to this you might be tempted to go through several rabbit holes and thinking the worst scenario will happen. This is what I did… I think it is natural and I regret it. 

Get support / Talk with others

When we received our abnormal 20 week ultrasound Ty and I made a conscious decision to not talk to anyone about the results.

I literally walked around like a zombie struck with fear and worry! DO NOT DO THIS!

It is okay and I highly encourage you to talk to people. Perhaps you find someone who has gone through it and they can help, or at least be there to support you and listen to you while enduring this time.

Get the support you need from others.  

Cope with the Results

Once those secondary results are in it is time that you cope with the results. This could include grieving, rejoicing if the results are now normal, and just dealing with all the emotions that come with getting results. 

Whatever the results are this part of the process is important for you to fully be able to process this part of your pregnancy.

Take as much time as you need to do this. Get professional help if needed. Do everything you can to go through the process of an abnormal 20 week ultrasound. 

Like this article?  Check out these other great articles!

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How did you / are you coping with your abnormal ultrasound? Share in the comments!




Ultrasound day is always an exciting day, but when you hear you have ultrasound abnormalities it is hard to cope with the news you hear.

Receiving abnormal ultrasound results at 20 weeks is never easy. These 7 helpful tips can help you cope with your abnormal 20 week ultrasound better. 

12 thoughts on “Abnormal 20 Week Ultrasound: 7 Helpful Tips to Cope”

  1. My daughter had the same cysts on her brain at our 20 week ultrasound. I was absolutely terrified. I hope I never forget how blessed we felt when those cysts faded. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Ultrasound abnormalities are definitely a scary thing to have to go through as a parent. I’m so happy to hear you had a positive experience as well. 🙂

  2. My daughter had cysts too. The doctor did not act concerned at all, even said usually they disappear by 32 weeks, but like you said T18 we will do chromosome testing… what if? I was scared. My husband was in training in Louisiana when the blood work came in to give a more definitive answer. I was too scared to go alone so I waited an excruciating 2weeks. The answer wouldn’t have changed the fact that I wouldn’t terminate. I have complete faith to God but I was so scared that it was a death sentence. Blood work came back normal, cysts disappeared at 30 weeks and I had a natural and relatively easy labor, perfect little girl. All I can say is those cysts made us prepare for the worst and made us so thankful for the blessing of life.

    • I agree with everything you said. We would have never terminated his life no matter what either. It made us prepare and love him even more when he got here! The lord works in mysterious ways! I’m so glad you have a precious little girl!

  3. I remember when the told me my son had a hole in his heart at the 20 week ultrasound. It was the worst by the time we went for the more detailed ultrasound it had gotten smaller. When he was born it was completely closed and he was perfect

    • Lynne she must be such a blessing in your life! Every child is such a blessing in each one of our lives and is so perfect! Thanks for reading/commenting.


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