Pregnancy Clinic

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  • 07954 756042
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Reassurance scans

Fetal anomaly scan (20 to 22 weeks)

The anomaly scan is an important appointment in the pregnancy. The scan includes a comprehensive examination of the fetal growth, structure and anatomy and includes an assessment of not just fetal anatomy but also the placenta and umbilical cord.

Who needs an anomaly scan?

All pregnant mothers should have a detailed scan at 20-22 weeks to assess the health and well-being of the pregnancy. The main objectives of this visit are assessment of the baby’s growth, examination of the anatomy and structure of the body and finally an assessment of the amniotic fluid, placenta and umbilical cord. The development of structure of the baby’s organs is generally complete by this stage of the pregnancy and therefore a detailed examination deemed to be normal at this stage is quite reassuring as it rules out all major defects of development.

What is examined at the anomaly scan?

Growth and anatomy

The anomaly scan includes an assessment of fetal growth and estimation of weight from measurements of the baby’s head, abdomen and limbs. Each of these measurements are plotted on a graph to assess growth with regard to the normal range for that specific week of pregnancy. The scan includes a detailed assessment of the anatomy of all organs of the baby’s body to ensure that development of fetal structure is normal for the specific stage of pregnancy.

Placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid

This scan includes an assessment of the placenta to check the position of the placenta in general and also in relation to the cervix (neck of the womb). Placentae which are close to the cervix are low-lying and require further follow up in the pregnancy. The umbilical cord is examined to ensure the number of blood vessels within it and examine the attachment to the baby and placenta.

How is the scan carried out?

The anomaly scan is performed transabdominally (scanning through the abdomen). A transvaginal (internal) scan may be required in some pregnancies and in those that require an assessment of the length of the cervix (neck of the womb). A full bladder is not required for the anomaly scan. An information leaflet will be sent to you by e-mail providing further information when you book for this scan.

What additional assessments can be carried out at this scan appointment?

The fetal anomaly scan includes a detailed assessment of fetal heart but in some pregnancies, a more comprehensive assessment of the baby’s heart structure is required. At this stage, an assessment of cervical length can also be carried out which can be used to assess the chance of preterm birth. If you require any of these additional assessments, please contact the appointments team to arrange these.

How happens after the scan?

You will be explained the results of the scan in detail and provided with a comprehensive report including all the findings observed measurements obtained during the scan. All images obtained during the scan will be provided to you along with an electronic version of the ultrasound scan report.

How can I book my anomaly scan?

You can book your appointment by clicking the link here (Anomaly scan booking). Alternatively, you can e-mail or call 01732 647072 to book your appointment. You will have the option of booking an evening or weekend appointment and the booking team from the clinic will contact you within 12-24 hours to book this.