Obstetric Ultrasound (excluding Nuchal Translucency studies)

Obstetric ultrasound is a popular and widely used imaging tool to obtain pictures of and to assess the wellbeing of an embryo or foetus (baby) within a woman’s uterus (womb), as well as examining the mother’s uterus and ovaries.

These scans can be performed at anytime during your pregnancy however, the most common scans are:

  • Early Pregnancy (dating scan) – 6 to 9 weeks
  • Nuchal Translucency Scan – 12 weeks
  • Morphology Scan – 18 to 20 Weeks
  • Growth Studies – anytime after the 20 week scan.

Time

Depending on the staging of the pregnancy, the duration of obstetric ultrasound scans may vary from 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Preparation

2 hours before your examination time, empty your bladder. Over the next hour, drink 1 Litre of water. Then, do not empty your bladder until the sonographer performing your examination asks you to.

It is important you have a full bladder for the examination. You should wear a loose-fitting, two-piece outfit for the examination. You may eat as normal.

What to Expect

The following link is an excellent resource provided by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists® for both Patients and Clinicians about radiology examinations. Please take the time to have a read of this before your examination.

18 to 20 Week Scan

Ultrasound for all other scans

Special Information

For ultrasound scans perform early in the pregnancy, particularly for dating scans, an internal ultrasound (trans-vaginal) may be required to accurately measure the embryo.

The internal examination consists of using a specialised ultrasound transducer (probe) designed to be placed inside the vagina. The transducer is no bigger than a fingers width.

It is sterilised and covered with a hygienic cover. Some lubrication is placed on the tip of the transducer. In most instances, you will be asked to insert the probe yourself; otherwise you may request the sonographer to do so. The health professional performing the examination will explain the process in detail and ensure that you are happy to have it performed this way. The trans-vaginal ultrasound is only performed if you consent to the examination. You may request the examination to cease at any time if you wish.

Our team of sonographers are highly trained professionals that are sensitive to the nature of this examination.

Questions

We understand having a baby can be a very exciting time for some but may also be an anxious time others. We are here to help you enjoy your experience and also provide an optimal exam for you and your baby. Please understand, this exam is very intensive for our sonographers and takes a lot of concentration to measure your little moving target. We love to talk to you and answer your questions but saving them until the sonographer has finished the important aspects of the scan is best. The sonographer will invite you into conversation once they are ready.

Although we are happy to answer questions, you will need to discuss the results of your procedure directly with your referrer.

Your Images and Report

It is important that you make an appointment to return to your doctor after your visit with us. Whether the results are normal or abnormal, your doctor needs to correlate this with other information for further management.

Depending on your referrer’s preference(s), a copy of the report and images will be sent directly to your referring doctor within 2 business days. You will also be given a copy of your images on film or CD for your own records.

In urgent circumstances, our specialist will speak with your doctor directly by telephone the same day of your examination.

Digital copies of all studies are stored on our secured database for comparison with any future examinations.