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Depending on how many weeks you are, you may have an external (transabdominal) ultrasound, where a device (called a transducer) is rolled over your pelvis, or an internal (transvaginal) ultrasound.Most pregnancies can't be seen by external ultrasound before seven to eight weeks. An ultrasound examination obtains a picture of the inside of the body without the use of X-Rays.It involves high frequency sound waves which are transmitted through the skin and reflected by the internal organs and structures.It’s best not to urinate before scans if possible, since a full bladder pushes up your womb, the ultrasound echoes will be able to reach your womb more easily, and the picture will be better.If you have an empty bladder they will ask you to drink a few glasses of water beforehand.There are 2 main scans: The 12-week scan (11-13 weeks in reality) - or 'the dating scan' - which happens at the end of the first trimester - to see if everything looks normal, whether your baby (or babies) is (are) growing as expected, and to estimate your due date.At this scan, you can also opt for "Combined screening" if you are high risk for abnormalities such as Down syndrome. The 18-21 week scan - or the 'anomaly' scan - checks for good growth, structural abnormalities and the position of the placenta.
Your baby's heartbeat can be seen after six weeks, and your baby will seem like a tiny bean in the large space of your uterus.
If it is your first time with us you will be asked to complete a registration form.
You will then be asked to have a seat in our waiting area where you will await your sonographer.
You don’t have to do them if you don’t want to, but do discuss the implications with your doctor or midwife.
These scans can pick up if your baby has stopped growing or seems to be in distress and can mean that you are then monitored more carefully during pregnancy and the birth.