Frequently Asked Questions
Your questions answered!
Common queries about baby scans & ultrasounds
Below you will find some of the regular questions we get asked about pregnancy scans and ultrasounds. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact form.
WHAT IS AN ULTRASOUND/SCAN?
A pregnancy ultrasound or scan is a diagnostic test that uses harmless sound waves to see how a baby is developing within the womb. These scans are used throughout the pregnancy to monitor foetal growth and development. Ultrasound waves cause no known harm to the mother or the foetus.
A gynaecological ultrasound or scan, is an imaging test that uses sound waves to visualize a women’s pelvic region, this encompasses her uterus and ovaries and surrounding areas.
WHAT ARE THE WAYS IN WHICH SCANS ARE PERFORMED?
There are two ways to perform an ultrasound scan. Either trans-abdominally or trans-vaginally.
The ultrasound probe is placed on the lower abdomen to examine the baby from 11 weeks of pregnancy onward.
A trans-abdominal probe in a gynaecology scan is used to see if anything is hanging off the ovaries / fallopian tubes as well as to get a better angle outside the uterus to image peripheral fibroids.
A small ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina only a few inches and rests on the cervix.
In an Early Pregnancy Scan when the baby is so tiny, the preferred method of scanning is trans-vaginal, as we get a better image before 10 weeks. After 10 weeks transabdominal can receive a similar result.
In a gynaecology scan the better approach to view pelvic organs (uterus and ovaries) is transvaginally, however as a rule of thumb we always take a quick look transabdominally for anything outside the region of interest.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HAVE AN EARLY PREGNANCY SCAN?
The most accurate time for the due date calculation is between 7 and 11 weeks pregnant. This is because your baby is growing so quickly that there is a big difference in size from week to week. Also, the baby cannot bend and twist very much up to this point, so the length of the body is constant. The younger the baby the more accurate your due date is.
CAN I CONFIRM IF I AM HAVING TWINS/TRIPLETS ETC AT AN EARLY PREGNANCY SCAN?
Yes, we will be able to see if there is more than one at your Early Pregnancy Scan. If there is more than one, we can also determine if they are fraternal or identical.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT MY EARLY PREGNANCY SCAN?
Our receptionist will collect some basic details like your name, contact number, date of birth and G.P.’s information. Once this is done you will be brought to your room for our Sonographer to start your scan.
SHOULD I HAVE A FULL BLADDER FOR AN EARLY PREGNANCY SCAN?
Only if Early Pregnancy Scan is performed on belly (trans-abdominally) would it be helpful to have a moderately full bladder. However, our Early Pregnancy Scan up to 10 weeks, we prefer to do First Trimester Scans internally trans-vaginally with an empty bladder.
WHAT IS A 3D4D SCAN?
3D Ultrasound is an ultrasound technique that creates or renders up volumes from points on facial features or structures of the body. 4D Ultrasound is a series of 3D images combined using the latest software to create the appearance of motion. The 4th dimension is time. All 3D/4D images are software-constructed and technically not live motion, but the advances in software create the images in real time.
WHAT DOES A 3D/4D ULTRASOUND LOOK LIKE?
Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your third, getting that initial look at your baby’s face can be a magical moment. Does she have your nose/ your father’s ears or Daddy’s lips. These scans let you see the shape of your baby’s face and how they move. With 3D and 4D scans, you see your baby’s skin rather than her insides. You may see the shape of your baby’s mouth and nose, or be able to spot her yawning or sticking her tongue out.
3D scans show still pictures of your baby in three dimensions. 4D scans show moving 3D images of your baby, with time being the fourth dimension.
If the baby is not in the correct position for your 3D4D scan, your sonographer may ask you to go for a walk, or to come back in a week (free of charge), when your baby may have moved to a better position. If after two attempts and it’s not possible to get good views of her face, you may be able to see her fingers and toes instead.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A 3D4D SCAN?
The 3D/4D baby scan gives you a unique opportunity to bond with your unborn baby during pregnancy. Time is taken to capture 3D baby ultrasound images and 4D video clips. We perform all 3D/4D scans using the latest GE S10 model, which happens to be the global leader in women’s healthcare, especially due to its obstetric 3D4D HD-Live ultrasound technology.
With our equipment we will view your baby using our HD-Live 3d4d and capture pictures and videos for you to cherish.
The 3D/4D pregnancy scan can be performed from 26-34weeks. We highly recommend booking your scan for between 28-34 weeks pregnant as the pictures are usually the best at this stage.
You can also have something sweet to eat or drink just before your scan to get the little one moving. Oranges seem to do the trick really well!
DOES OUR FACILITY PRODUCE THOSE LIFE-LIKE 3D4D IMAGES?
Yes, we do! Our GE S10 Ultrasound (best in class) is specifically engineered to provide the latest technology HD-Live for those high-quality images.
ARE ALL ULTRASOUNDS THE SAME?
No, all scans (ultrasounds) are not the same because only certain anatomy presents itself at certain gestational ages. However, the rule of thumb for first trimester ultrasounds is to document number of sacs, gestational sac appearance, foetal heartbeat measured, the size of the foetus (crown rump length) and development of the foetal organs which there isn’t much of until the 12th week. From the second trimester onward, we will routinely check the position of the placenta (afterbirth), the cervix and the amount of fluid around the foetus (amniotic fluid), look within the head and abdomen, measure all limbs, tummy, and head circumference. Then we will check the overall wellbeing of the pregnancy. This will all be done using 2D ultrasound.
DO I NEED A FULL BLADDER?
No, you do not need a full bladder, the latest technology that we employ does not require it to obtain high quality images. However, it is better to have a medium to full bladder when utilizing the transabdominal (external) probe.
CAN I BRING FAMILY TO SEE THE ULTRASOUND?
Yes, family are welcome in our ultrasound clinics, this is the advantage of going private. Our facilities can accommodate up to 4 guests, or you can have the scan in private. Whichever is your choice.
HOW LONG WOULD THE ULTRASOUND TAKE?
Depending on the type of scan performed, we can complete the imaging between 20 and 30 minutes. More intensive scans can take more time, depending on the position of the baby.
HOW ACCURATE IS DATING A PREGNANCY BY ULTRASOUND?
Ultrasound dating is very accurate in pregnancy, especially that first trimester ultrasound. The studies have proven Due Date Estimations made during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are generally accurate within 3 – 5 days.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM AN ULTRASOUND EXAM?
You will be asked to lie down on the ultrasound examination table. Some gel will be put on your tummy and an ultrasound probe with be moved over your lower belly to examine the pregnancy in your womb (pelvic region). The ultrasound will be seen live by you on a TV in front of you. The heart rate, locations of the baby, maternal cervix and placenta will be checked first, followed by amniotic fluid, measurements of the baby and then an evaluation of the organs. From 20 weeks and up, baby’s weight will be given verbally in addition to a typed report for you to leave with. Unless there is a concern visually, amniotic fluid will not be measured until 28 weeks. With lung maturity developed (after 34 weeks) foetal movements and breathing will be surveyed throughout the scan.