Ultrasound scanning in pregnancy
All women will be offered ultrasound scans of their
baby at around 12 and 20 weeks. Some women will need extra scans
later in the pregnancy for several reasons, such as checking the
baby's growth. Ultrasound scanning has been used extensively in
pregnancy and is accepted to be safe. Prior to attending, please
try to have a full bladder by drinking 1-2 pints of water/squash
about 1 hour before your scan time.
- Dating scan at around 12 weeks
This is a basic scan to check your baby's heartbeat and
development. This scan also measures the baby and estimates how
many weeks pregnant you are. If you are more than 8 weeks pregnant
this is an accurate calculation, and will be used to estimate the
date your baby is due to be born (known as estimated date of
delivery or EDD).
This scan is carried out between 11+2 weeks and 14+1 weeks and
measures the amount of fluid lying under the skin at the back of
your baby's neck and combines this result with results from blood
samples, your age, weight, weeks of pregnancy, family origin and
whether you smoke into a computer programme at the laboratory to
work out the risk (chance) figure for Down's Syndrome.
This is discussed in more detail here.
- Structural (anomaly) scan (18+6 to 20
This is a screening test that checks for possible physical
problems with your baby. The test is offered to all women, but not
everyone will choose to have it. If you choose not to have this
scan your choice will be respected and you will be offered a later
pregnancy management scan.
This scan is a positive experience for most people, but not for
everybody as unfortunately sometimes we find a problem with a
baby's development. Whilst this scan is good at detecting most
serious problems, it cannot pick up all possible problems with the
baby. For example, only about 60% of heart problems are found. The
sonographer will have the screen in a position to give them the
best view of the baby. The sonographer will need to concentrate
during the scan but will explain the scan findings at the end. The
length of the scan varies, but it can take up to 30 minutes
depending on your baby's position.
Scans are not guaranteed to find all problems with a baby. If we
do find a problem with the baby or if the scan findings are
unclear, we will arrange for you to speak to a doctor and another
scan may be arranged. This may be on a different day. In a small
number of cases, babies are born with abnormalities that were not
spotted on scan. The chances of what we can or can't see on an
ultrasound scan are found on page 34 of the booklet "Screening
Tests for You and Your Baby", which can be found here.
This is a scan done later in the pregnancy (usually after 26
weeks) to assess your baby's size. These are not done routinely. If
you have had certain problems in a previous pregnancy then you will
be assessed to see if any scans are required. There may also be
other clinical reasons why you may require a growth scan and this
will be discussed with you by the midwives and doctors.
Obstetric Ultrasound Service
Ultrasound scans are conducted at Saint Mary's Ultrasound
Department, Trafford General Hospital (for women living in
Trafford) and Salford Royal (for women living in Salford).
As this is a medical examination, we will only look and try to
see the sex of your baby if asked. We can never be 100%
certain and this is not the priority of the scan. Checking the sex
of your baby is not possible on some scans.
Scan photos are sold at £3 each or £5 for two.
One adult is allowed to accompany you in the scan room.
Our Lead Sonographers are:
|At Saint Mary's Hospital:
|At Trafford General Hospital:
|At Salford Royal Hospital:
How do I access this service?
Referrals for scans are only from midwives or doctors in
antenatal clinics or on the hospital wards.
It is important to arrive on time for your appointment. If you
are late we will try to accommodate you, but those women arriving
on time will be given priority. Please telephone the scan
department if you know you will be late. Please make sure that you
allow plenty of time to park and find the department.
Saint Mary's Ultrasound Department is located at the back
of main atrium on the Ground Floor, Saint Mary's Hospital.
Trafford General Hospital, Radiology Department is located next
to the Urgent Care Centre, Moorside Road, Davyhulme.
Salford Obstetrics and Gynaecology Ultrasound, Ground Floor,
Brooke Building, Stott Lane, Salford
Saint Mary's: 8.00 am-5.00 pm,
7.30 am-5.30 pm, Monday-Thursday and 7.30
am-5.00 pm, Friday
Ultrasound scans at Trafford tend to be booked prior to 1.00 pm
to co-ordinate with on-site clinical teams.
8.00 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday
Saint Mary's Radiology Reception: (0161) 276 6374
Trafford General Radiology appointments: (0161) 746 2001
Salford Obstetrics and Gynaecology Ultrasound reception: (0161)