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2858 Having an Early Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan

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When you become pregnant you will be invited to have an Ultrasound scan so that we can see your baby at an early stage in your pregnancy. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to obtain pictures of the inside of your body. It’s the best way of seeing your developing baby inside the womb and is safe to use; Ultrasound has been used without any side effects for over thirty years. 
 The routine dating scan is performed between 11 weeks and 3 days, and 14 weeks. This first scan gives us a lot of information: We measure the baby to estimate how old it is. We check for a heart beat to confirm the baby is alive. We look for any developmental problems. It is sometimes too early to do this, and it can also be difficult if you are overweight or have a womb that is at an unusual angle. We will be able to see if you are having more than one baby. If you have agreed to have testing for Down's Syndrome, we will look at the back of the baby's neck for a fluid collection which helps in the detection of Downs syndrome babies. If the scan shows you are beyond 14 weeks and 2 days, you will have the offer of a screening blood test instead. However, establishing the sex of your baby is not part of the national screening programme so please don’t expect to find this out as a result of your dating scan. You will receive a letter with the time of your appointment. Please arrive at the hospital in plenty of time as parking can sometimes be difficult. Many women like to bring their partner, a relative or friend with them. We are happy for you to do this, but there is only enough space in the examination room for one companion. If you have small children with you, they will have to remain outside, so please bring someone to look after them whilst you have your scan. 
 When you are called into the examination room you will be met by a monographer who will explain the procedure to you. Please ask them if you have any questions or concerns about the examination. You will be asked to lie flat on a couch. The sonographer will put a small amount of clear gel on your lower pelvis they will use a probe to get an image of your womb. The probe will be moved over your skin and images will appear on a screen. You will experience some pushing as the probe is positioned so that your baby can be seen in the correct position for measurement. This should not be painful, but may be a little uncomfortable. You will get the chance to see your baby during, or at the end of your scan, which usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. If the sonographer has any concerns about your scan, they may ask for a second opinion. The exact nature of the problem may not be immediately clear, but there will be a doctor or midwife available to answer any of your questions Occasionally the scan does not give us much information. This can either be because it is too early in your pregnancy, you are above-average weight, or the baby is lying in a position which makes scanning difficult. If this is the case, you will be invited for a repeat scan. At this early stage, it can be difficult to tell if the baby is developing normally, so you will be invited back for another scan at 20 weeks. This scan is called a Fetal Anomaly Scan and looks for any developmental or growth abnormalities. We hope you enjoy this experience

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Duration: 3 minutes and 34 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: richardwh on Nov 6, 2015

2858 Having an Early Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan

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