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What to expect from the scan

All you would like to know about your ultrasound scan

What is pregnancy screening and why do we do it?

Screening in pregnancy is performed in order to examine the baby’s development and wellbeing whilst it is still in the mother’s womb.

In most cases we can detect your baby’s heartbeat 6 weeks into the pregnancy and examine many of its structures after 12 weeks. The findings we encounter via screening allow us to diagnose various issues the baby and its mother could potentially face during all 40 weeks of pregnancy.

 

What is ultrasound scanning? Is it safe?

Extensive research has been done on ultrasound scanning and there is NO evidence that it can be harmful to a baby or its mother. We use a special probe that sends a high frequency beam of sound waves, which then bounces off the baby in womb back into the probe and then translates it into an image.

Diagnostic ultrasound was first invented in the 1950-1960s. Since then, ultrasound technology has improved exponentially. With our advanced technology, we are now able to view your baby at an incredibly high resolution from when it is the size of a plum, in 3D and 4D (moving 3D). We can share those images and videos with you via secure cloud software, which you can access on your smartphone instantly!

How are ultrasound scans performed?

In most cases, the scan will be done transabdominally i.e. on the surface of your stomach. Our doctor will ask you to lay on a specially designed examination bed and will then apply a gel on your tummy (which is warmed for your comfort). This allows the transducer to slide freely on the surface of your tummy and for the clinician/sonographer to identify the different structures of your baby from various angles. Depending on the scan you opted for, the whole process should take 15-45 minutes.

In some cases, due to various factors such as the baby’s position in the womb, the clinician may be unable to obtain a satisfactory image of the baby. In such cases, they will suggest resorting to a transvaginal scan. As the name suggests, this is a more invasive scan performed by a transducer no larger than a finger. It is gently passed into the vagina to generate images of the baby, while you lay on your back. This may cause some slight discomfort but should not cause any pain.

Do I need a full urinary bladder for the scan?

The short answer is NO. Please feel free to come with an empty bladder or use the toilet on site. We use the latest ultrasound equipment, which is capable of scanning in any bladder condition. In the past, some ultrasound machines struggled to produce high quality images when the mother’s bladder was empty. This is not the case with the Voluson E10!

Can I get ultrasound scan results straight away?

Yes, you will be given all your results immediately. The results and images will be provided in BOTH hard and soft copies:

• Hard copy: scan report, growth charts, printed pictures of your baby

• Soft copy: scan report PDF, growth charts, high quality pictures and videos of the baby. All this information will be provided via our cloud software, Tricefy.

What’s NIPT? 

In short, non invasive prenatal test (NIPT), is a simple blood test available to pregnant women at 10+ weeks of pregnancy with a very high detection rate of potential Down’s Syndrome presence.

Find out more here.

What’s next?

If we do identify any problems, together we can create treatment and management plans as soon as possible.

Pregnancy screening will give you an opportunity to have a look at your baby and aims to provide you with the best possible reassurance.