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Pregnancy Ultrasounds

All patients must have a referral for a Pregnancy Ultrasound.  

Please note that the Sonographer may need to perform a Trans-vaginal Scan as well as a trans abdominal scan in order to obtain the best results for reporting. 

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Dating or Viability Scan (6-11 wks)

A dating scan (also known as a viability scan), is an ultrasound examination to establish or confirm the gestational age of a pregnancy.  This scan will include a scan across the pelvis with a fall bladder (trans abdominal scan) and often an internal scan (transvaginal scan) is also required. The internal scans do no harm you or the pregnancy and are considered standard practice.


With information such as the date of your last period and/or your pregnancy hormone blood levels along with the information obtained with the ultrasound scan, we aim to be able to:

  • Confirm a pregnancy
  • Confirm a normal pregnancy location (in the uterus) after six weeks
  • Confirm viability by the presence of fetal heartbeat and gestational sac size to determine gestational age
  • Calculate the expected date of delivery 
  • Determine the number of babies present (single, twins etc)
  • If twins/ multiple pregnancy, then determine if identical/non-identical
  • Look for a cause of bleeding in early pregnancy and confirm viability
  • detect any uterine and/or ovarian issues, for example a uterine fibroid that may affect the pregnancy


Dating scans can also be useful to accurately confirm gestation in all early pregnancies' and is especially helpful in patients:

  • where the LMP (last menstrual period) or conception date in      not known
  • who have an irregular menstrual cycle?
  • with an unusual cycle due to breast-feeding, recent      miscarriage or stopping the oral contraceptive pill
  • where there has been any bleeding in the pregnancy      causing confusion with dates


What can we see at this scan?

  • At 5 weeks only a gestational sac will be seen as it is too early to see the fetal heart (visible when the fetus is more than 5-7mm)
  • At 5 1/2 weeks an intrauterine gestation sac and sometimes the yolk sac can be seen (the yolk sac functions as a source of nourishment for the developing fetus)
  • Between 6 and 7 weeks the fetus is clearly visible on transvaginal ultrasound with a fetal heart rate of 90 to 110 beats per minute, this increases to 110 to 180 beats per minute as the pregnancy progresses
  • By 8 weeks gestation the fetus is measuring 20mm in length.


Dating scans are usually performed anytime between 6- and 11 weeks’ gestation


Patient Information: 

  • Arrive with a full bladder by drinking 300mls of water 1 hour prior to your pregnancy ultrasound appointment time (do not go to toilet prior to this scan).

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Early Anatomy Scan (12-14 weeks)

 Some patients may elect to have NIPTS Testing rather than Nuchal Translucency Scan therefore your doctor may request for early Anatomy Pregnancy Scan to be performed  around 13 weeks.


Patient Information:

  • Arrive with a full bladder by drinking 300mls of water 1 hour prior to your pregnancy ultrasounds appointment time (do not go to toilet prior to scan). 


NOTE: NIPTS (Noninvasive Prenatal Testing) is a blood test that examine Placental DNA via Maternal Bloodstream to determine whether a baby is at risk for a chromosomal condition.  Precision Imaging for Women does not currently offer this test.  

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Nuchal Transclucency Scan (11-14 wks)

Nuchal Translucency Scans along with blood tests (occuring around the same time) access the risk of your baby having certain chromosomal abnormalities.


What is a nuchal translucency scan?

A nuchal translucency scan is part of the ultrasound scan that most pregnant women have at around 12 weeks.  The ultrasound will measure the size of what is known as the nuchal fold at the back of your baby’s neck.


The results of a nuchal translucency scan may tell you if your baby has a high or low risk of a chromosomal abnormality. Examples of chromosomal abnormalities include trisomy 21 (also known as Down Syndrome) trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) or trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome).  Trisomy means 3 therefore trisomy 21 means the baby has 3 copies of chromosomes 21 instead of the normal 2 copies which results in a baby being born with Down Syndrome.


What does a nuchal translucency scan look for?

The scan looks at and measures the thickness of your baby’s nuchal fold, a fold of skin on the back of your baby’s neck. Increased thickness might indicate a chromosomal abnormality, but it doesn’t tell you that your baby definitely has, or doesn’t have, an abnormality. The results will tell you if your baby is at a high risk or low risk of a chromosomal abnormality when compared to the general population.


How is a nuchal translucency scan performed and when?

The nuchal translucency scan is usually performed between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.  Usually the scan is done with you lying on your back and a sonographer places a scanning probe on your abdomen.  Occasionally the nuchal translucency can only be seen by inserting a probe into the vagina.


You might also be offered a blood test around this time.


What happens if my baby is in the high risk category?

The results of the nuchal translucency scan will not be used alone to calculate the risk of a chromosomal abnormality. All your first trimester screening tests  will be combined to calculate your risk. The calculation is based on the mother’s age, the nuchal translucency measurement of your baby, the gestational age of the baby, blood test results and the findings when your baby’s nasal bone is scanned.


If your risk is less than 1 in 1000, you are considered low risk. If it is between 1 in 50 and 1 in 1000 you are considered intermediate risk. If it is greater than 1 in 50 you are considered high risk.


If you are classified as high risk you may be referred to a genetics counsellor who will discuss your options and help you to decide if you would like to have a more invasive diagnostic test, such as chorionic villus sampling(CVS) or amniocentesis.  These diagnostic tests can tell you definitively if your baby has a chromosomal abnormality or not.   It’s important to be well informed and that you discuss the different options available to you with your doctor or midwife.


Patient Information:

  • Arrive with a full bladder by drinking 300mls of water 1 hour prior to your pregnancy ultrasound appointment time (do not go to toilet prior to scan). 

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Morphology Scan (18-20 weeks)

 Morphology Scans review and report full anatomy of the baby at 18-20 weeks.

Patient Information:

  • Arrive with a full bladder by drinking 300mls of water 1 hour prior to your pregnancy ultrasound appointment time (do not go to toilet prior to scan). 

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Growth Scan

 Growth scans are optional and requested based on clinic reason (i.e. Low lying placenta at morphology scan, small for dates, reduced fetal movement, history of previous small baby and gestational diabetes). This pregnancy ultrasounds or pregnancy scans reports estimate weights, Amniotic Fluid Index, fetal doppler and structural checks (kidney and heart).


Patient Information:

  • Arrive with a full bladder by drinking 300mls of water 1 hour prior to your pregnancy ultrasound appointment time (do not go to toilet prior to scan).