When a woman discovers she is pregnant, one of her first thoughts typically is about the need for an ultrasound scan. If it is your first pregnancy it is important you receive sensible, professional medical advice about what scans are needed when. Most women require a number of scans during their pregnancy, which are performed at different stages and have different purposes:
- Dating (1st trimester) scan is usually performed between 8 and 10 weeks. This helps to confirm your due date, excludes ectopic pregnancy and diagnoses twins. If you have abdominal pain or bleeding, an earlier scan may be appropriate.
- Nuchal translucency (NT) scan is an optional scan for couples who elect to undergo combined 1st trimester screening for fetal chromosomal problems. It is performed from 11 to 14 weeks.
- Fetal anatomy (morphology) scan is a detailed scan of the baby’s anatomy, usually performed between 17 and 22 weeks. Occasionally, for high-risk women, an early anatomy scan (at 12-16 weeks) may also be beneficial.
- Fetal growth and wellbeing scan is recommended at least once during the 3rd trimester, to check your baby is growing well and exclude placental problems.
These are the standard ultrasound scans recommended for all pregnant women. Women with complicated pregnancies may benefit from additional prenatal imaging. At SHORE FOR WOMEN, we offer the full range of obstetric ultrasound services and will be happy to advise you on the best individualised schedule to suit your pregnancy.
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