Pregnancy Ultrasound

A pregnancy ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of how a baby is developing in the womb. It is also used to check the female pelvic organs during pregnancy.

In DF Medical Centre we provide a wide range of pregnancy ultrasounds, using latest, modern equipment that ensures quality, high resolution images.

1. Early pregnancy ultrasound
The purpose of the early pregnancy scan is:
  • To confirm location of the pregnancy (Is the baby inside the womb?)
  • To determine fetal viability (Is my baby’s heart beating?)
  • To measure fetal heart rate (How fast is the baby’s heart beat?)
  • To provide accurate gestational dating by crown-rump-length (How far along am I?)
  • To establish an estimated due date (When is my baby due?)
  • To determine number of fetuses (Could I be having twins?)
  • To assess the ovaries and uterus to make sure that they are normal (please note that these structures are not always clear on ultrasound, but we do our best to check them)

This scan cannot:

  • Rule out chromosomal or anatomical abnormalities
  • Assess the final location of the placental as it is too early
When is the best time to go for an Early Pregnancy Scan?

The heartbeat of the embryo can be seen from 6 weeks onward, therefore, the Early Pregnancy Baby Scan can be performed from 6 weeks 0 days – 11 weeks 6 days from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).

If your menstrual cycle is longer than 28 days it is advisable to wait until you are at least till 8 weeks from your LMP to confirm the viability of the embryo as you may not be as far as your dates suggest.

How do I prepare for an Early Pregnancy Scan?

You are required to have an adequately full bladder for your early pregnancy scan. There is certainly no need to be uncomfortably full. We suggest that you go about your normal daily routine but just not empty the bladder half an hour before the scan.

There is a small chance that a transvaginal scan may need to be performed in order to get a clearer view. Some patients prefer this method of scanning as the resolution of the image is better, improving the accuracy of the measurements and the clarity of the pictures. Feel free to request this as there is no extra charge.

What to expect from the early pregnancy scan?

During the ultrasound scan we assess the position and shape of the gestational sac. It is important to see the sac within the uterus as this excludes an ectopic pregnancy. We then look for the presence of the embryo or possibly multiple embryos. The heart rate is measured to determine viability. A measurement is then taken from the tip of the head to the little bottom, called the crown rump length (CRL). When performed correctly, this measurement is the most accurate way of dating a pregnancy. Many studies show that this form of dating is more accurate than the first day of the last period or measurements taken at detailed anomaly scan which is carried out at around 20 weeks. We also examine the uterus and ovaries for any pathology such as ovarian cysts or fibroids.

2. Early fetal anatomy ultrasound and nuchal translucency (NT) – 11+0 to 13+6 weeks of pregnancy

Assessment of fetal anatomy is the major component of the 12+ week scan. The following routine fetal anatomy should be assessed as a minimum:

  • Skull and brain
  • Stomach
  • Bladder
  • Spine
  • Four limbs (document two arms, two legs, two hands and two feet)
  • Cord insertion
  • Four-chamber heart (if possible)
  • Nasal bone
  • Nuchal translucency

Nuchal translucency is measurement of the size of the translucent space behind the neck of the fetus using ultrasound at between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, reflecting the amount of fluid that has accumulated under the skin of the fetus. Nuchal translucency tends to be increased in chromosome disorders such as Turner syndrome and Down syndrome. This is strictly a screening test. Combined with fetal nasal bone assessment it can detect up to 64.9% of cases with trisomy 21 and 66.7% of cases with trisomy 18/13.

3. Gender Determination Scan

More and more parents are inquisitive about the sex of their unborn baby and we are delighted to provide this service to all patients who are keen to find out.

During this scan we:

  • Determine the sex of your baby
  • Assess the location of the pregnancy to make sure that it is the correct place
  • Check that the baby is viable by looking for the heart beat
  • Measure the heart rate of the baby
  • Measure the head, abdomen and femur bone to check for normal fetal growth
  • Identify some of the main organs to make sure that they appear normal for this gestation
  • Look at the amount of amniotic fluid
  • Assess the placenta and umbilical cord vessels.

Please note that this scan cannot exclude all chromosomal or anatomical abnormalities

 

When to have a Gender Determination Pregnancy Scan?

We perform gender determination ultrasound after 17 weeks of pregnancy with over 99% accuracy.

When to have a Gender Determination Pregnancy Scan?

We perform gender determination ultrasound after 17 weeks of pregnancy with over 99% accuracy.

4. Anomaly Ultrasound

At 18-23 weeks we do:

Fetal Biometry

The following measurements are routinely obtained to calculate estimated fetal weight (EFW) and estimated date of delivery (EDD):

  • head circumference (HC)
  • biparietal diameter (BPD)
  • abdominal circumference (AC)
  • femur length (FL)

Second trimester calculation of EDD based on these parameters has a generally accepted error margin of +/- 7 days.

Morphologic assessment

The following structures should be visualized at a routine second trimester morphology ultrasound.

Fetal head
  • fetal skull: integrity and shape
  • fetal brain
  • ventricles and choroid plexus
  • cavum septum pellucidum
  • posterior fossa, including measurements of transcerebellar diameter and cisterna magna
  • nuchal fold thickness
Fetal face
  • profile and nasal bone
  • orbits and lenses
  • upper lip
Fetal heart and chest
  • fetal heart rate and rhythm
  • cardiac situs
  • four chamber view
  • fetal heart rate
  • diaphragm and lungs
Fetal abdomen
  • liver
  • stomach (including situs)
  • kidneys
  • abdominal wall
  • umbilical cord insertion
  • bladder
  • fetal gender
Fetal musculoskeletal system
  • spine
  • transverse, longitudinal +/- coronal views and skin line
  • upper limbs
  • humera, including humeral length (HL)
  • radius/ulna: both sides
  • lower limbs
  • femoral length (FL) as part of biometric assessment
  • screen for talipes
Ancillary findings
  • fetal lie
  • cervical length
  • placenta
  • site
  • distance to cervix
  • liquor volume
5. Growth and fetal wellbeing ultrasound

An ultrasound examination in the third trimester is useful for several reasons.

It enables us to see:

  • That the fetal heart is beating
  • The fetal presentation and position
  • The fetal size and growth, we can estimate the fetal weight
  • The volume of amniotic fluid around the baby
  • The position of the placenta
  • The blood flow to the baby through the umbilical cord (Doppler Studies) if necessary
  • The activity and movements of the baby
  • The length of the cervix
5. Growth and fetal wellbeing ultrasound

An ultrasound examination in the third trimester is useful for several reasons.

It enables us to see:

  • That the fetal heart is beating
  • The fetal presentation and position
  • The fetal size and growth, we can estimate the fetal weight
  • The volume of amniotic fluid around the baby
  • The position of the placenta
  • The blood flow to the baby through the umbilical cord (Doppler Studies) if necessary
  • The activity and movements of the baby
  • The length of the cervix
6. Doppler Ultrasound

Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the movement of blood in vessels. It is used in pregnancy to study blood circulation in the baby, uterus and placenta.

We recommend the use of Doppler ultrasound in obstetrics under the following circumstances:

  1. Suspected intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR),
  2. Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), preeclampsia, eclampsia,
  3. Status post dysmature delivery/intrauterine death,
  4. Status post preeclampsia/eclampsia,
  5. Abnormalities in the recorded fetal heart rate,
  6. Reasonable suspicion of fetal anomalies or fetal disease,
  7. Multiple pregnancy with discordant growth,
  8. Suspicion of cardiac anomalies or heart disease.
7. 3D/4D Ultrasound

The 3D/4D baby scan gives you a unique opportunity to bond with your unborn baby during pregnancy. Time is taken to capture 3D baby scan images and 4D video clips– the fourth dimension is the moving part. We perform all 3D/4D scans using the latest GE Healthcare equipment – global leader in obstetric ultrasound technology.

The purpose of this scan is:

To view your baby in 3d and 4d and capture pictures and videos for you to cherish.

The 2d element of this scan is the full wellbeing check of your baby. This is not the detailed anomaly scan; therefore, we cannot rule out all fetal abnormalities.

When to have a 3D/4D Well Being Pregnancy Scan

The 3D/4D pregnancy scan can be performed from 18-34 weeks. We highly recommend making your booking for when you are between 28-34 weeks pregnant as the pictures are usually the best at this stage.

How to prepare for a 3D/4D Well Being Pregnancy Scan

Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids in the week leading up to your scan. This may help increase the amniotic fluid around the baby allowing for better pictures. Feel free to empty your bladder before the scan. This can move the baby’s head into a better position. You can also have something sweet to eat or drink just before your scan to get the little one moving.

What to expect from a 3D/4D Wellbeing Pregnancy Scan?

You will be asked to lie down on the ultrasound examination couch. Some gel will be put on your tummy and an ultrasound probe with be moved over your belly to examine the pregnancy. The baby scan image will come up on a television screen so that you can see your scan live. The presentation of the baby and location of the placenta will be checked. Standard measurements will be taken of the baby’s head, abdomen and femur bone. Some of the main organs that can be seen at this stage will be examined. The baby’s weight can be estimated. Fetal movements and breathing will be surveyed throughout this pregnancy scan. The amniotic fluid volume and placenta location will be checked for normality. Multiple 3D baby scan pictures and 4D clips will be taken of your baby throughout the scan and you will get printed colour pictures and videos on a memory stick that you can watch and enjoy with the rest of your family, at home.

Information and appointments on 0879792576, congratulations and we would be delighted to meet you and your baby!

We Are Always Glad to Help

Call to Book an Appointment today

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top