Will I be given a risk level for any other abnormalities? What is nuchal translucency? Nuchal translucency is a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of your baby’s neck. The amount of fluid is measured during a nuchal translucency NT ultrasound scan: That’s why the NT scan is used to help screen for Down’s syndrome. Why might I have a nuchal scan?
A fully updated and expanded version is published in Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: When I was pregnant with my first baby in , I decided against having a scan. What influenced me the most was my feeling that I would lose something important as a mother if I allowed someone to test my baby. I knew that if a minor or uncertain problem showed up — and this is not uncommon — that I would be obliged to return again and again, and that after a while, it would feel as if my baby belonged to the system, and not to me.
Effects of frequent ultrasound during pregnancy:
Having this information in advance of the birth means that healthcare staff as well as parents can better prepare themselves for the delivery of a child with a health problem. For example, Down Syndrome is associated with cardiac defects that may need intervention immediately upon birth. Many expectant parents would like to know the sex of their baby before birth.
Methods include amniocentesis with karyotyping , and prenatal ultrasound. In some countries, health care providers are expected to withhold this information from parents, while in other countries they are expected to give this information. Since screening tests yield a risk score which represents the chance that the baby has the birth defect, the most common threshold for high-risk is 1: A risk score of 1: However, the trade-off between risk of birth defect and risk of complications from invasive testing is relative and subjective; some parents may decide that even a 1: ACOG guidelines currently recommend that all pregnant women, regardless of age, be offered invasive testing to obtain a definitive diagnosis of certain birth defects.
Therefore, most physicians offer diagnostic testing to all their patients, with or without prior screening and let the patient decide. The following are some reasons why a patient might consider her risk of birth defects already to be high enough to warrant skipping screening and going straight for invasive testing. Women over the age of 35 Women who have previously had premature babies or babies with a birth defect, especially heart or genetic problems Women who have family histories or ethnic backgrounds prone to genetic disorders, or whose partners have these Women who are pregnant with multiples twins or more Women who have previously had miscarriages Tests by Invasiveness[ edit ] Diagnostic prenatal testing can be performed by invasive or non-invasive methods.
An invasive method involves probes or needles being inserted into the uterus , e. One study comparing transabdominal chorionic villus sampling with second trimester amniocentesis found no significant difference in the total pregnancy loss between the two procedures.
Gynaecological Service The female pelvis can be examined using a trans-vaginal approach. This gives the best picture of the uterus, ovaries and pelvis. The ultrasound transducer is similar in size and shape to a tampon: Approximately 2 inches is gently inserted into the vagina in the same way as a tampon, if you prefer you can insert it yourself. Please arrive with an empty bladder.
How long will the scan take?
We aim to meet the highest standards. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time Helen Campbell I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had.
On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see. Sarah Elliott We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care.
In medical ultrasound, a handheld probe produces soundwaves that penetrate the structures of the body, and the returning echoes are displayed as images. It is used to visualise the internal organs, vessels and soft tissues of the body. It is also used in obstetric ultrasound to asses the foetus at varying stages of pregnancy.
Ask your GP if you want the reassurance of an early scan.
Practical Obstetrical Ultrasound, p Rockville, MD, Aspen, Averaging the gestational ages derived from two or more measurements has been shown to be more accurate than using any single parameter. Because of the greater accuracy of the early study, ultrasound examinations subsequent to an early study should not be used to revise the estimated date of confinement EDC , but rather should be used as a measure of the quality of fetal growth between the two studies.
Similarly, it is not appropriate to revise an EDC on the basis of an ultrasound examination if the patient’s menstrual dates are within the range of error of the ultrasound method. If significant discrepancy is seen between two ultrasonographically measured fetal dimensions more than a 2-week difference , then the ultrasonographer must consider the possibility of an error in measurement technique.
If a critical reevaluation reveals no error, then asymmetry in fetal growth may be present. Growth asymmetry may occur as a result of physiologic alteration in fetal head shape brachycephaly or dolichocephaly or in association with intrauterine growth restriction IUGR , macrosomia, or a fetal anomaly. The survey includes a confirmation of fetal number, viability, position, assessment of amniotic fluid volume, and location of the placenta.
In assessing fetal biometry, the applicable standard fetal measurements already discussed, including CRL, BPD, abdominal circumference, and femur length, should be taken. The estimation of fetal weight is a clinically useful parameter computed from the fetal biometric measurements. Several equations have been produced based on fetal biometry that estimate fetal weight. One or more of these usually is incorporated into the software of most contemporary ultrasound machines.
A look at what your scans will involve. What is nuchal translucency? Nuchal translucency is a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of your baby’s neck.
The test is designed to give you as much information as possible, so you can decide whether or not to go ahead with a diagnostic test.
Can the scan show the gender of my baby? What is actually done? Scans are usually performed by a doctors, midwives or radiographers who are specially trained in ultrasound, and are known as sonographers. The whole pregnancy will be assessed. The amount of liquor amniotic fluid , the position and appearance of the placenta and a detailed scan of the baby itself. The baby will be measured, and the anatomy examined in detail. It is recommended that all pregnant women have a scan in the first trimester at around 12 weeks of pregnancy to confirm their dates.
First trimester ultrasonic scans may show ‘soft’ markers for chromosomal abnormalities, such as an increased fetal nuchal translucency back of the neck to enable detection of Down’s syndrome fetuses. When is the nuchal fold screening test carried out? The test is performed between 11 weeks and 13 weeks 6 days into your pregnancy.
The test cannot be performed outside this time frame as certain features that need to be seen on the scan are not present. If you are unsure of your period dates or have an irregular cycle, we suggest that you contact your doctor, midwife or health care provider as early as possible to arrange for a dating scan.
There is no hard and fast rule for the number of scans you should have during pregnancy. A scan maybe ordered when an abnormality is suspected on clinical grounds.
Information is available in the NHS “Screening tests for you and your baby” booklet which can be obtained from the midwives at your health centre. Screening for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes in pregnancy in the South West Region A screening test for these conditions, called the first trimester “combined test”, is available between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.
If you choose to have the combined test, a blood sample is taken from you.
You will be asked to consent to or decline these screening tests so it is very important that you understand the purpose and possible results of the screening tests before you decide whether to have them.
It is reassuring to know everything is as it should be. Early in pregnancy there maybe few signs to suggest that you are pregnant. Ultrasound scanning in early pregnancy can provide that confirmation and peace of mind that you need. Most women in early pregnancy experience no problems, but not all. This early pregnancy dating scan ante-natal scan is useful for those who: Are experiencing pain or bleeding in the pregnancy Had a previous miscarriages Had a previous ectopic pregnancy Are unsure of date of last menstrual period And for those who need reassurance prior to their NHS scan, now usually performed after 12 weeks.
With many early pregnancy units stretched to over capacity, it is not always possible to get a same day appointment. Our pregnancy ultrasound scans are available seven days a week and appointments are available to suit you. What can you expect to see on your early pregnancy scan? A small gestation sac in the uterus measuring approximately 3 — 4 mm 6 weeks pregnant: Within the uterus a small gestation sac and maybe a small yolk sac within it can be seen. The baby usually measures 10 — 20 mm and a heartbeat can be seen clearly 8 weeks pregnant: Baby now measures 20 — 30 mm and again a heartbeat is clearly visible.
Baby now measures 35 — 40mm and if the heartbeat is present and the baby measures appropriately for your dates, the chances of the pregnancy continuing is
A second trimester morphology ultrasound is performed in the middle part of the pregnancy, usually between 18 and 20 weeks gestation. All pregnant women have this ultrasound as a routine part of their antenatal pregnancy care. This ultrasound will check that your baby is growing and developing normally. A second trimester ultrasound is performed with a transabdominal ultrasound.
Transabdominal ultrasound involves scanning through your lower abdomen.
Find out the cause of any bleeding you may be having.
Sex Chromosome abnormalities Turner syndrome and Klinefelter Syndrome – single pregnancy only These occur as a result of missing or extra copies of chromosomes otherwise referred to as aneuploidies. The test can be performed as early as 10 weeks for most pregnancies including single and twin pregnancies and for women undergoing IVF or women who have conceived via assisted reproductive technology including use of a donor egg.
What are my current options? This involves a nuchal translucency scan and a maternal blood test at 10 – 14 weeks and provides an estimate of risk taking into consideration maternal age. It is less accurate than an NIPT test. This only screens for Down’s syndrome and is not quite as accurate as the combined test. More information can be found here. How do I know the test is accurate?