Scanning in pregnancy is widely used to assess the baby. 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.
- Confirm if the baby is present.
- Check if there are multiple babies, e.g twins.
- Date the pregnancy (gestational age) and estimate delivery date (baby’s due date).
- Determine if it is an ectopic pregnancy (where the baby implants outside the uterus).
- Confirm the baby’s heartbeat and movement.
- Check for any abnormalities such as Down Syndrome.
- Assess the baby’s growth to see if there is intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
- Check the location of the placenta in relation to the cervix.
- Determine the sex of the baby
The Society & College of Radiographers (SoR) and Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) recommend as standard:
First Trimester Scan – 7 to 15 weeks
This first scan can often be a combination of:
- Early Viability Scan – Check the heartbeat and movement of the baby
- Nuchal Translucency Scan – Help you work out the risk of your baby having a chromosomal abnormality such as Down Syndrome. The ultrasound looks specifically at the fluid space at the back of the baby’s neck.
- Dating Scan – Confirm the due date of your baby. This is helpful if you are unsure of your last menstrual period or your date of conception.
Second Trimester Scan – 18 to 20 weeks
- Anomaly Scan – Detailed ultrasound scan that observes the position of the placenta, the umbilical cord, the amniotic fluid around your baby, and your uterus and cervix. Several measurements are taken to check the baby’s growth and development. The fetus is also assessed for any major anatomical abnormalities (such as problems with the head, limbs, heart and other internal organs).At this stage of pregnancy, the sex of the baby can often be determined. However, if the genital area is difficult to visualise due to the baby’s position, it can be difficult to tell whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
Pregnancy is an evolving and sensitive journey. Expectant parents often would like peace of mind by performing scans more often to detect changes in the baby’s development. If you would like advice on further scans that can assess the baby and mother please do not hesitate to contact us and read more on our private pregnancy scans.
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.
Our experienced sonographer will ask you to 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.
For all our pregnancy scans, please call us, email or book on the form below to discuss your specific requirements.
Our patient administrators will endeavour to answer your questions to the best of their ability but may need to consult with our expert sonographers and get back to you with accurate information.