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Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb. The scans are painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy. Talk to your midwife, GP or obstetrician about any concerns you have. For many women, ultrasound scans are the highlight of pregnancy. It's very exciting to "see" your baby in the womb, often moving their hands and legs.

The scans are painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy. Talk to your midwife, GP or obstetrician about any concerns you have.

For many women, ultrasound scans are the highlight of pregnancy. It's very exciting to "see" your baby in the womb, often moving their hands and legs.

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Having a scan in pregnancy is usually a happy event, but be aware that ultrasound scans may detect some serious health conditions, so try to be prepared for that information. See What if a screening test finds something for more information on what may happen if a scan or other screening test suggests your baby may be more likely to have a condition.

They will advise you about what to do.

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Find out more about pregnancy and coronavirus. Most scans are carried out by specially trained staff called sonographers. The scan is carried out in a dimly lit room so the sonographer is able to get good images of your baby.

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First you'll be asked to lie on a couch. You'll then be asked to lower your skirt or trousers to your hips and raise your top to your chest.

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The sonographer will put ultrasound gel on your tummy and tuck tissue paper around your clothing to protect it from the gel. The gel makes sure there is good contact between the machine and your skin.

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The sonographer passes a probe over your skin. A black and white picture of the baby will appear on the ultrasound screen.

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During the examination, sonographers need to keep the screen in a position that gives them a good view of the baby. The sonographer will carefully examine your baby's body.

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Having the scan does not hurt, but the sonographer may need to apply slight pressure on your tummy to get the best views of the baby. However, the sonographer may not be able to get good views if your baby is lying in an awkward position or moving around a lot. If it's difficult to get a good image, the scan may take longer or have to be repeated at another time.

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There are no known risks to the baby or the mother from having an ultrasound scan, but it is important that you consider carefully whether to have the scan or not. This is because the scan can provide information that may mean you have to make further important decisions. For example, you may be offered further tests, such as amniocentesis, that have a risk of miscarriage. Hospitals in England offer all pregnant women at least 2 ultrasound scans during their pregnancy:.

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The first scan is sometimes called the dating scan. The sonographer estimates when your baby is due the estimated date of delivery, or EDD based on the baby's measurements.

The dating scan can include a nuchal translucency NT scan, which is part of the combined screening test for Down's syndromeif you choose to have this screening.

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It is sometimes called the mid-pregnancy scan. This scan checks for 11 physical conditions in your baby.

Some women may be offered more than 2 scans, depending on their health and their pregnancy. No, not if you do not want to.

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes. The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care.

This is called the dating scan. It's used to see how far along in your pregnancy you are and check your baby's development. Your midwife or doctor will book you a dating scan appointment. It will usually take place at your local hospital ultrasound department. The person performing the scan is called a sonographer. It's not compulsory, but you should discuss whether you want or need a dating scan with your doctor or midwife. It is usually offered to pregnant women from 10 weeks to 13 weeks gestation, but can be carried out any time from 6 weeks. If you have had bleeding during your pregnancy or you have had previous miscarriages, your doctor or midwife may recommend an early dating scan from 6 to 10 weeks . Dec 25,   Pregnant women should be offered an early ultrasound scan between 10 + 0 and 13 + 6 weeks to establish accurate gestational age. (Grade A recommendation) Ultrasound assessment of embryonic/fetal age (dating) uses the following assumptions: gestational (menstrual age) represents post?conception age + 14 days;.

If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional. General health. Access trusted, quality health information and advice Visit healthdirect.

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Late Dating Scan

Dating scans are used to confirm how many weeks pregnant you are and your expected due date. Why would I have a dating scan? How is a dating scan performed? What preparation do I need to do for a dating scan?

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Check with your ultrasound clinic for any preparation you need to do prior to the scan. The scan will take 5 to 10 minutes to perform.

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What will I learn from a dating scan? At a dating scan you will also be able to: see the heartbeat check for any movement check that the baby is growing normally see if you are having more than one baby, such as twins.

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Emergency dating scan

By 6 to 7 weeks gestation the fetus is clearly seen on trans-vaginal ultrasound and the heart beat can be seen at this early stage 90 to beats per minute under 6 to 7 weeks, then to beats per minute as the baby matures. Ultrasounds performed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are generally within 3 - 5 days of accuracy. The most accurate time is between 8 and 11 weeks gestation. This is because the fetus is growing so quickly that there is a big difference in size from week to week.

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However, the accuracy of the ultrasound examination is always dependent on the skill of the sonographer and the quality of the equipment. The EDD from the early dating scan is used - if the last menstrual period is not known or is unreliable, or the dating scan differs from the last menstrual period dating by more than 5 days.

Ultrasound examinations from 12 to 22 weeks are regarded as being within 10 days of accuracy or up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later than the woman's calculated due date.

The dating scan can include a nuchal translucency (NT) scan, which is part of the combined screening test for Down's syndrome, if you choose to have this screening. The second scan offered to all pregnant women usually takes place between 18 and 21 weeks of pregnancy. It . A dating scan is an ultrasound examination which is performed in order to establish the gestational age of the pregnancy. Dating scans also reveal other important information such as: the number of fetuses and gestation sacs. the presence of a heart beat. the size of the fetus, from which the gestational age is estimated. One friend encouraged me to treat my friend search like dating. Scan the landscape. Get numbers. Make coffee dates. I never perfected the art of the chase, but I did find mom friends to bridge the ages and stages as my two boys grew. With some, our bond was brief and intense. With others, it was more casual and intermittent.

Ultrasounds performed after 22 weeks gestation cannot be used to estimate the due date of the baby because the size no longer reflects the age very well. Even average babies can differ by up to 2 to 3 "weeks of growth".

The dating pregnancy scan performed between 6 - 18 weeks will confirm: That a gestation sac is seen within the uterus i.e. the pregnancy is intrauterine, growing in the womb and not ectopic, i.e. growing outside the womb. The number of babies you are carrying. By 6/7 weeks in pregnancy it is possible to detect the baby's heart beat (s). During a dating scan, your sonographer will also check that the embryo has implanted in your uterus (womb). If it has implanted outside your uterus, it's called an ectopic pregnancy, which is a medical emergency. The dating scan will also show if you're expecting twins, . The scan can check that your baby's heart is beating nicely and that he's developing normally. (NHS a). Your baby's head, limbs, hands, and feet can be seen, as well as his abdominal wall and some organs, such as his stomach. The dating scan isn't designed to .

These scans are only used to estimate the due date of your baby if this is all you have to go on. If you have more than one ultrasound during your pregnancy, giving you 'multiple dates', then the earliest ultrasound estimate should be used, because it will be more accurate.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to talk to your sonographer or doctor about it.



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