Pregnancy Ultrasound

First, second and third trimester examinations are done at My Radiology Centre. You will be asked to follow the sonographer into the ultrasound room and then lie on the table on your back. Please wear loose fitting clothing such as a shirt and skirt rather than a dress or tight jeans to allow easy access to the lower abdominal area; however you will be provided a gown to change into if needed. A water-based ultrasound gel is applied to the skin over the lower abdomen and the probe is placed on the skin. You will be required to drink plenty of water prior to the exam to have a full bladder for better visualisation - you may use our clean toilets as soon as the exam in over, usually within 10 - 20 minutes.

We realise that this is an exciting time in your life, and aim to give you a positive experience. We can also provide you with some pictures to take home and show family or friends.

First Trimester - this exam is performed within the first 12 weeks, and is done to:

  1. Confirm the locationof and number ofpregnancies (e.g. ectopic pregnancy, or twins)
  2. Date the pregnancy and calculate the estimated due date
  3. Determine the viability of the pregnancy by checking for a heart beat

If the image quality is inadequate to thoroughly assess the foetus, uterus and ovaries, an internal scan (transvaginal) may be necessary. The sonographer/radiologist will fully explain this to you. This entails inserting a sterilised probe into the vagina to get a closer and more detailed view of the foetus, gestational sac, uterus and ovaries. Of course, it is your decision to agree or disagree with this examination or decide to terminate it at any point. There is usually no pain involved, only slight discomfort (many patients have claimed it to be less uncomfortable than a pap smear).

Second Trimester - this examination is usually done between weeks 18 and 20 of pregnancy, and is optimal at 20 weeks. Several measurements of the placenta, baby's head diameter and circumference, abdominal circumference, kidney size and upper/lower limb lengths are made to check for normal development. The facial features such as lips, nose and eye lenses as well as the spine are assessed, and a thorough examination of the heart is also done.

This examination tends to take longer than most, requiring between 30-60 minutes. Patience is often needed because the baby is often moving during the examination, and in some positions it is not possible to examine certain structures or organs. In such a circumstance you may be requested to go for a short walk and return, or empty your bladder, in which time with luck the baby has moved to a more ideal position or you may be requested to come again another day to complete the exam.

Third Trimester - this exam is done to check the foetus's growth during late pregnancy, as well as the placental position. The cervix and umbilical cord are also examined carefully at this stage. This exam usually takes around 30 minutes.