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Early Pregnancy Scans – Growth Scans – Gender Scans
What is ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body. As the sound waves travel through your body, they reflect off tissues, sending information to a computer that interprets the waves and produces an image.
Your ultrasound may be performed transabdominally or transvaginally. A transabdominal ultrasound is a type used for pregnant women. The devices that emit sound waves, called the transducer, is moved across the abdomen, sending the waves down toward the uterus.
A transvaginal ultrasound uses a long, narrow transducer that’s placed inside the vagina. This method produces a clearer image of your pelvic organs because it’s closer to reproductive organs.
How is ultrasound used in obstetrics?
Ultrasound is safe to use during pregnancy to evaluate the baby’s growth and development because it relies on sound waves rather than radiation. While ultrasounds are usually done during the first and second trimester, they can be performed at any time during pregnancy.
First trimester ultrasounds aren’t routine, but they may verify pregnancy, determine the location of the pregnancy, and be used to estimate the due date. Every pregnant woman receives a second-trimester ultrasound to establish the size and position of the baby.
Your baby’s sex can often be identified when the second-trimester ultrasound is done after 20 weeks because the external genitalia are visible. In some cases, however, the image may not be clear or the baby’s position may block the view.
What are 3D and 4D ultrasound?
The 3D imaging, allows you to see the facial structure and anatomy as a static three-dimensional image of the baby in the womb. The 4D ultrasound, allows you to see real-time images, such as movement, sometimes you can see the baby yawning or sucking his/her thumb. At International Ultrasound Services, we follow the NICE, RCOG and BMUS safety guidelines recommended keep the exposure to the baby as low as reasonably possible (ALARA principle) and therefore we only perform 2d diagnostic ultrasound scans.
About Pregnancy Scans
An obstetric scan is the same as a ‘normal’ scan but is being used to evaluate the overall health of your unborn baby instead of looking at other organs such as gallbladder for gallstones or kidney for kidney stones. So in pregnancy ultrasounds are being used to visualise the unborn baby, the placenta, the uterus and cervix and your ovaries.
Pregnancy ultrasound scans or prenatal ultrasounds are very common and being carried in any stage of the pregnancy.
When Is an Ultrasound Performed During Pregnancy?
You will normally be offered two diagnostic ultrasound scans during your pregnancy from the NHS. The first pregnancy scan is at 12 weeks of gestation and called a dating scan. The second pregnancy scan is at 20 weeks of pregnancy and called an anomaly scan.
Most of the expectant mothers, especially the ones with previous complications such as miscarriage they do not believe that 2 ultrasound scans during pregnancy are enough and this is the reason they choose to have a private pregnancy scan in London with us.