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If you are wondering why you should have an early pregnancy scan, why not take a look at this video where one of our consultants, Dr. Shane Higgins, explains clearly the reasons for attending an early pregnancy scan – just click on: Early pregnancy scan video
When Can I Have An Early Pregnancy Scan?
Especially if this is your first pregnancy, you may also be unsure as to when is the earliest you could have your first scan. Normally this 1st trimester scan is undertaken from 6 to 12 weeks. These weeks refer to the gestational age of your baby, and what this means is that the date is taken from your last period. However we often recommend leaving this scan until after 7 weeks if possible, because at this stage we can normally get more accurate information at your scan.
Main Reasons To Go For An Early Pregnancy Scan
One of the main reasons to undertake this scan is to confirm if your baby’s heartbeat is present. Also this first pregnancy scan is when we should be able to see how many babies are in your uterus, for those of you who are pregnant with multiples. Of course you will want to know your estimated due date, and we can also give you this information at the early pregnancy scan.
Finally we can check where the baby/babies are located. Sometimes baby could be located in the fallopian tubes and this can be determined at this time. This is called an ectopic pregnancy.
If you have heard the term nuchal fold scan but aren’t entirely sure what this scan entails and whether you should have one, then this video will help you understand why some women choose to have this scan, that is also called a nuchal translucency test. The video features another of our consultants, Professor Fionnuala Mc Auliffe. To see it please click on nuchal fold scan video.
Many women know of this scan as the test for Down’s syndrome. If a fetus has an extra chromosome, he/she may have extra fluid, in the area at the base of his/her neck. This is the spot which is called the nuchal fold. The sonogram can measure this fluid between the 11 to 14 week period, and it may make the fetus’ neck larger.
As well as the scan, you will go for a blood test, which you will ideally do around 10 days before you come into the clinic for your scan. If you have been able to come in 10 days before the scan, then we should be able to give you the result on the day of your nuchal scan.
Understanding The Results
When you get the result, you will be told a number such as 1 in 100, 1 in 500, 1 in 5000, and depending on the result you can then decide if you should go for a more definitive diagnostic test. Our team will, of course, help you fully understand the implications of your result.
Would you like to know more about the Harmony Pre-Natal Test? If so you may find this video interesting – it features Professor Fionnuala Mc Auliffe, who is one of the 5 consultants that lead our clinic. To see the video please click on Harmony Pre-Natal Test video. The Harmony PreNatal Test is considered to be the most advanced test available to us today to screen for chromosome abnormalities.