When will I have my first scan? Share Chrissie Hammonds Midwife sonographer. All women are offered ultrasound scans in pregnancy, but the number and the timing will vary depending on your healthcare provider, whether you are a public or private patient, your own pregnancy health and any previous medical or pregnancy problems you may have had.
As a general guide they may include: Your doctor may also offer you additional ultrasound scans at your antenatal appointments so that he can check the health of your baby and rule out any problems. Early scans If you have previously miscarried or you have had bleeding in the first few weeks of this pregnancy, you may be offered an early scan between six and 10 weeks. This is to reassure you and end the uncertainty of not knowing how your pregnancy is faring. This scan may be done using a probe placed inside the vagina, instead of the usual abdominal scanning equipment.
Most women would not be offered this scan but if your doctor has referred you for a scan it will be covered by Medicare. It's natural to feel a little anxious about having a vaginal scan. If you do feel anxious, you should discuss it with the nurse or sonographer beforehand. It's also a good idea to take someone along with you. If it helps, you could also ask for a woman to carry out the scan. The vaginal scan will give a clearer picture of your baby earlier in pregnancy than an abdominal scan.
See our overview of scans to find out more about how vaginal scans are done. Dating scan This scan is also a more accurate way of establishing your due date than counting from your last monthly period LMP. Many pregnant women are not sure of the date of their last monthly period LMP and so a dating scan might be recommended to work out an accurate due date.
Finding out how pregnant you are is important to ensure that the results of your nuchal translucency scan are accurate. It can also find out if you are having more than one baby. Nuchal translucency scan You will be offered a nuchal translucency scan between 11 and 13 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy.
If you are going to have your baby in a public hospital you may be able to have this scan at a public ultrasound clinic. In many cases you will have to pay for this scan and test in a private centre. If you live in a regional area and do not have an ultrasound clinic near to you, talk to your doctor or midwife about what assistance is available for you to travel to the closest clinic.
In some cases transport or assistance with the cost of transport may be available. This scan can estimate the likelihood that your baby has Down syndrome. It's usually offered as part of a combined test , which includes the nuchal translucency scan and a blood test to detect the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin hCG and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A.
For a definite result a diagnostic test, such as CVS or amniocentesis , is needed. The anomaly, or week, scan This scan is offered to all pregnant women between 18 and 20 weeks.
Its main purpose is to look at your baby in fine detail and check for abnormalities. You will be able to see movements and some hospitals or ultrasound centres will tell you the sex of your baby if you wish to know.
When is the best time to have a scan? This is going to depend on your situation and on what's available in your local area. If you have reason to be worried about your pregnancy in the early weeks, then an early scan may be a good idea. If you are not sure of your due date you may need to have a dating scan. You may choose to have a nuchal translucency ultrasound between 11 weeks and 13 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy.
If you choose to have a combined ultrasound with blood test you can have the blood test between 9 weeks and 13 weeks and six days of pregnancy. It may be that the only scan you need or want during your pregnancy is the anomaly scan at 20 weeks. Of course, you may not wish to have a scan at all and this can be discussed with your doctor or midwife. Or, you may want all of them, in which case you may like to ask your doctor or midwife the following questions: What is available locally?
What can I get elsewhere? What is available on Medicare? What is available privately? Enter your due date or child's birthday Trying to conceive?