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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.

What you can expect when you get a scan during pregnancy.

In my experience, ultrasounds are one of the best things about pregnancy.

You don’t have to do them if you don’t want to, but do discuss the implications with your doctor or midwife.

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.

Further scans if needed during the 3rd trimester, including amniocentesis or CVS.

These scans are painless and have no known side effects.

This is normally due to the fact that it is simply too early to see the pregnancy or the pregnancy is not growing as it should.

If, at your appointment it is not possible to confirm whether your pregnancy is ongoing or not we will recommend that you have a repeat scan in 1 - 2 weeks.

Most pregnancies are now monitored by ultrasound examination to assess the age, health and position of the unborn baby.

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