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What is obstetric (pregnancy) scanning?

Scanning in pregnancy is widely used to assess the baby. It can determine if a baby is present, its position, and if there is a multiple pregnancy. It helps determine the age of the pregnancy and subsequent due date as well as showing the position of the placenta in relation to the birth canal. It can also help to diagnose abnormalities and help plan the future of the pregnancy. Sonography may also be used throughout pregnancy to monitor the health and development of the baby.

What does a pregnancy scan tell?

Confirm if a fetus (the baby) is present,
Determine location of fetus, intrauterine or ectopic
Confirm baby’s viability i.e. check for heartbeat & fetal movement
Date the pregnancy (gestational age) and estimate delivery date
Check the location of the placenta in relation to the cervix
Check for the number of fetuses (multiple pregnancy)
Check for major physical abnormalities.
Assess fetal growth (for evidence of growth restriction (IUGR))
Determine the sex of the baby

What are the scanning standards?

The Society & College of Radiographers (SCoR) and Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) recommend an Early Pregnancy Scan, undertaken before 15 weeks, which can combine the functions of the Early Viability Scan, Nuchal Translucency Scan and dating scan. There is also then a routine scan at 20 weeks. These two scans are the ‘minimum’ number of scans required during pregnancy and are offered by ¾ of ultrasound units in the UK. Individual circumstances may dictate that more scans may be offered and a breakdown of what you could receive will be discussed with you.

What preparation do I need?

For all obstetrics scans, no special preparation is needed, although it is best to wear loose clothing that can easily be lifted or removed in order to expose your abdomen. You will lie on your back on an examination couch and the transducer moved across your stomach in order to obtain the best possible images of the baby.

Booking your pregnancy scan

For all our pregnancy scans, ring us or email in advance to discuss your specific requirements.


0161 503 6205

BOOK THROUGH CALL 0161 503 6205