Pregnancy / Obstetric Ultrasound
Below are the common scans performed during the course of a pregnancy. Additional scans may be referred at any time during the course of your pregnancy to check the wellbeing of the baby and mother.
1st Trimester Scans
A dating scan is performed around week 8 of pregnancy but can be done as early as 5 weeks. It is used to confirm due dates, assess the viability of the pregnancy, check the number of embryos, provide maternal reassurance, and to rule out ectopic pregnancy (fetus developing outside of the womb).
Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan
Following the dating scan, a screening test for early detection of Down syndrome (called a Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan) is usually booked in around week 12 of pregnancy but can generally be done between 10 weeks 6 days to 14 weeks 1 day depending on patient circumstances. Our preferred date for this scan is 12 weeks 3 days and patients are encouraged to book in at that time to ensure optimal imaging (for example, the nasal bone may not diagnosed prior to 12 weeks). A blood test is also done in conjunction with the ultrasound scan which is arranged through the patient’s Lead Maternity Carer (LMC). Early fetal anatomy can also be assessed during this scan.
2nd trimester scans
Around week 20 of pregnancy, an anatomy scan is performed to rule out abnormalities that can be visualised with ultrasound imaging such as cleft lip, spina bifida, heart defects, and many other abnormalities. It is also used to check that the fetus size is within normal limits and record the location of the placenta. The gender of the fetus can also usually be established during this scan.
3rd Trimester Scans
Usually conducted from week 28 of pregnancy, the growth scan is used to check the baby’s growth by measuring its head, abdomen, and thigh bone. It is also used to assess the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and record the position of the placenta.
4D Maternal Bonding Scans
We also offer 4D bonding scans, preferably from 29 to 32 weeks and also at 12 weeks as part of the NT scan. This is a non-medical scan. Read more about our 4D Ultrasound.