Does screening for Down's syndrome happen at this scan? Screening for Down's syndrome will happen at the dating scan if: The combined test involves a blood test and measuring the fluid at the back of the baby's neck nuchal translucency with an ultrasound scan. This is sometimes called a nuchal translucency scan. The nuchal translucency measurement can be taken during the dating scan.
If you have agreed to have screening for Down's syndrome, the dating scan and the screening will usually happen at the same time. Find out more about the combined screening test for Down's syndrome. You will not be offered the combined screening test if your dating scan happens after 14 weeks. Instead, you will be offered another blood test between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy to screen for the risk of Down's syndrome.
This test is not quite as accurate as the combined test. Find out more about: A dating scans is the best way to predict your due date PHE The point of the scan is to work out how many weeks pregnant you are. You may have calculated the length of your pregnancy from the first day of your last menstrual period LMP. However, conception doesn't actually occur until around 14 days after your LMP, or later if your cycle is longer than 28 days Mongelli You may know when your LMP was, but not when you actually conceived.
If you do know the conception date, this is counted as day 14, not day one. If your cycle is irregular or you've recently been on the pill, working out the date from your LMP probably won't work. A dating scan is more accurate PHE , Skupski et al If the scan date differs from your period dates, the scan date will be used. The scan will usually show that your pregnancy is less far along than suggested by your LMP. This means that accurate dating reduces your chance of having your labour induced because your baby is thought to be overdue NICE , Mongelli It may also help you to avoid feeling disappointed towards the end of your pregnancy if you think your baby is late when he's not.
What else will the dating scan reveal? 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 look for more subtle abnormalities, though. That will happen at your next routine scan at about 20 weeks NHS b. By then, the sonographer will be able to see your baby in more detail because he's bigger.
However, some major problems can be seen at your dating scan, such as issues with the umbilical cord or with your baby's skull or abdominal wall. You may need a second scan to check the first scan's findings. The dating scan will also show if you're expecting twins, triplets, or more NHS a, Mongelli It's helpful to know about twins early on, and it's easier to see whether or not they share a placenta during the first trimester. Finding out about having twins early in pregnancy also gives you more time to prepare for the birth and for your doctor and midwife to plan your care.
What happens at a dating scan? The dating scan usually takes about 20 minutes NHS a. Nearly all scans after 10 weeks can be done through your tummy, and most units ask you to arrive with a full bladder. The sonographer will put some gel on your tummy and move a small hand-held device transducer over your skin to get views of your baby NHS b. It won't hurt, although you may feel a little pressure on your tummy.
If your womb uterus is very deep in your pelvis, or if you're overweight , you may be offered a vaginal scan, which can get a closer view of your baby. It shouldn't be uncomfortable, and you don't need a full bladder NICE Your sonographer will give you a report of the scan, which will tell you exactly how many weeks pregnant you are.
Keep it with your maternity notes so your midwife and anyone else involved in your care can see it. How big will my baby be at the dating scan?
The pregnancy dating scan
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