A pregnancy ultrasound scan is the same as a ‘normal’ ultrasound scan but is being used to evaluate the overall health of your baby instead of looking at other organs such as gallbladder for gallstones or kidney for kidney stones. So in pregnancy ultrasound scans are being used to visualise the 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 ultrasound scans during your pregnancy from the NHS. The first scan is at 12 weeks and called a dating scan. The second pregnancy scan is at 20 weeks and called an anomaly scan.
Most of the expectant mothers, especially the ones with previous complications such as miscarriage do not believe that 2 scans during pregnancy are enough and this is the reason they choose to have a private pregnancy scan in London with us.
What are ultrasound scans used for in pregnancy?
Depending on your stage of pregnancy, ultrasounds will be used to give you and your doctor or midwife answers about your pregnancy.
First Trimester Ultrasounds
- Check that you are pregnant and that your baby has a heartbeat.
- Check if you have a singleton or twins
- Make sure that the pregnancy is not an ectopic located within the endometrial cavity and is not outside the womb such as in the fallopian tube.
- Look for the cause of any bleeding you might have.
- Date the pregnancy by measuring the crown-rump length of the foetal pole.
Second Trimester Ultrasounds
- Verify dates and growth
- Estimate the baby's risk of Down's syndrome by measuring fluid at the back of your baby’s neck between about 10 weeks and 14 weeks
- Help with diagnostic tests by showing the position of the baby and placenta.
- Check your baby to see if all his organs are normal.
- Diagnose abnormalities
- Assess the amount of amniotic fluid and the location of the placenta.
- Evaluation of fetal well-being
- Make sure your baby is growing at the expected rate.
- Confirm if your baby is a boy or a girl.
Some mothers to be, will, unfortunately, get various complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure, kidney infections and abnormal liver function tests. As ultrasound scans are pregnancy-friendly your doctor might refer you for an abdominal/liver scan or a kidney scan to check for anything that might explain your symptoms.
Although these scans are not pregnancy scans, they are related to pregnancy and in most cases, all the complications resolve after delivery. But like everything else related to your health and your baby’s health: better safe than sorry.
- Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Ultrasound Practitioner
Specialities: Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...
Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.
Reviewed: 07/04/202 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) and Tareq Ismail Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)