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12 Week Dating/Nuchal Scan

The 12 week dating/ Nuchal scan can actually be done from 11 to 14 weeks and has a number of benefits, and so is essential in all pregnancies. The majority of miscarriages happen before this stage of pregnancy and so knowing all is well on scan by this stage gives parents a significant amount of reassurance. In a natural conception it is the best time to give an accurate due date. As well as this, we can also perform a limited early anomaly scan and measure the fluid level at the back of the baby’s neck to give an assessment of the risk of any cardiac problems for the baby. This scan is also used as a part of the Down Syndrome Screening test with the NIPT (Harmony) blood test.

A Nuchal scan will:
  • Reassurance of viable ongoing pregnancy
  • Diagnose multiple pregnancy
  • Calculate your estimated due date (EDD)
  • Limited Early Anomaly scan
  • Nuchal Translucency assessment of risk of Cardiac problems in baby
  • Part of Down Syndrome Screening Test
How is the scan performed?

This scan can be performed any time from 11 to 14 gestational weeks of pregnancy, but is ideally performed at 12 weeks. These dates are calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period. The scan is usually performed transabdominally, through your tummy.

Why you may want or need this scan
  • For reassurance, especially if you have suffered a miscarriage previously
  • To give an accurate due date even if an earlier scan has been performed
  • As part of the Downs Syndrome screening Test
  • To look for multiple pregnancies
How to prepare for the scan

For an abdominal scan, a full bladder is required to get good images.

What if the news is not what you expected

If we are unable to see a healthy pregnancy in the womb at this early scan it may be because you are earlier than you think, or that it may be an early miscarriage. Under these circumstances, we would suggest a further ultrasound scan in 7-10 days to assess the viability of the pregnancy. Please note that this would be a separate charge.

If, however, the scan is more clear that there has been a miscarriage or there are any concerns that this could be an ectopic pregnancy, we will recommend that you attend the Early Pregnancy Unit at your local NHS Hospital for further follow-up.

Consultant £250

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