How long does the dating scan take

Some abnormalities may also be detected at this scan, such as neural tube defects spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect. Screening for Down's syndrome will happen at the dating scan if:.

Anyone had a dating scan? - Pregnancy: Tips, Questions and Information - Essential Baby

The screening test for Down's syndrome used at this stage of pregnancy is called the "combined test". It 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.

What to expect during your first scan

Find out more about the combined screening test for Down's syndrome. You won't 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.

How is a dating scan performed?

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It's officially known as the 'dating scan' because it's used to pinpoint your baby's due date. It's also a bit of a moment. That's because it's likely to be the 1st time you 'see' your baby whee!

So in love, it's unreal! They will also check that anatomically everything is where should be. Then you get your amazing pictures and you can tell the world!


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Dating scans are offered at some point between 8 and 14 weeks, with most of them happening between 11 and 14 weeks. If you've had fertility treatment, have a history of miscarriages or are in pain or bleeding during the first weeks of pregnancy, you may be offered an early scan before this routine dating scan. But, assuming your pregnancy is healthy, you'll still have the dating scan at round about the week mark.


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  8. The scan is done externally by rolling a device over your tummy unless your womb is very deep in your pelvis or you're very overweight, when it may be thought better to offer you a trans-vaginal scan instead. You'll be asked to arrive with a full bladder. The scan itself will take about 15 to 30 minutes but you may need to hang about for a while in the waiting room beforehand — which can be tricky when you've just drunk all that water!

    But don't be tempted to skip the water drinking for that reason. It's best to wear trousers or a skirt and a top, rather than a dress, as once you're in the dimly lit room, you'll be asked to lie on your back on a couch and adjust your clothes to expose your bump. Then the sonographer will put some gel on the skin of your tummy be ready: Once the gel's on, the sonographer will place the transducer — which looks a bit like a computer mouse or a small paint roller — onto your bump and move it around, allowing the high-frequency sound waves produced by the transducer to bounce off your belly and create a picture on the sonographer's monitor.

    As the transducer gets to work, a black-and-white image of your baby will appear on the monitor that the sonographer is looking at. Often, you can see the screen too, or it'll be turned towards you after a few moments — but not always.

    WHEN TO DO A DATING SCAN

    And, if the pregnancy is progressing well, you'll also see a clear heartbeat. Costs for these vary, and aren't always flagged up in advance, so do make sure you take some cash with you. Your partner or another close relative will always be welcome to come with you but it's totally up to you, of course.

    Most mums-to-be would probably say it's a good idea to have some company, especially if you're anxious about the scan.