Scans and tests during your pregnancy
Confused about the tests you’ll be offered during your pregnancy?
From the moment you meet your midwife she’ll talk about scans and tests.
Don’t be afraid to ask your midwife questions - it’s important that you fully understand what the tests are and what the results could be. That way you can make an informed decision about whether or not they’re right for you.
In your diary… between 6 to 10 weeks
Women who’ve experienced bleeding, some types of fertility treatment, previous ectopic pregnancy or recurrent miscarriages will be offered an early scan to check their pregnancy’s proceeding properly. If the pregnancy’s very early the scan may be done through your vagina, but usually it’s just done on the outside of your tummy as you’d expect.
Nuchal Translucency scan
In your diary at… 11 to 13 weeks
The nuchal translucency scan measures the amount of fluid under the skin at the back of your baby’s neck. Babies with Down’s syndrome often have an increased amount, so the results of this scan are used (along with the stage of pregnancy and your age and weight) to estimate the likelihood of having a baby with Down’s syndrome. If you like, you can have a blood test as well as your nuchal scan (known as combined screening) to give a more accurate result.
In your diary… between 10 to 12 weeks
If you decide not to opt for the nuchal scan, or if it isn’t available in your area, you’ll be offered a dating scan, which will be done at the hospital. This scan will confirm your due date and how many babies you’re expecting. You can usually ask for a photo of your scan to take home, though there may be a small charge. Many women are unsure about their dates and it might be too early to see the baby clearly, so you could be asked to return for another scan a couple of weeks later.
If you have a nuchal scan and it shows you’re considered high risk for having a baby with Down’s syndrome, or your past or family history shows there may be a risk of your baby having a genetic chromosomal condition such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell, you’ll be offered either CVS or amniocentesis.
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