Pregnancy

What we do
The Women’s Ultrasound Centre is able to provide rapid access to diagnostic tests for women with complications of early pregnancy (i.e. from conception to 14 weeks of pregnancy). We provide scanning facilities immediately at the time of consultation and interpretation of serum levels of the pregnancy hormones hCG and progesterone. The nature of these problems is such that they tend to occur without warning. Hence we run a same day service. We also are able to treat all problems that may occur in early pregnancy including the expectant, medical and surgical management of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

Common reasons for assessment

  • Unexplained bleeding in early pregnancy
  • Lower abdominal pain in early pregnancy
  • Severe nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy
  • Possible miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy)
  • Reassurance following a previous miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • To date a pregnancy and check for the presence of a heartbeat
  • To determine the number of foetuses

Information we would like you to bring

  • The date of the first day of your last menstrual period and whether it was unusually light or heavy
  • Whether you are pregnant. The commercially available urinary pregnancy tests you can buy from chemists are suitable.
  • Whether you have had any significant medical problems in the past and the nature of these.

What does an early pregnancy assessment involve?
At our clinics we assess early pregnancies using transvaginal ultrasonography and on occasion to use measurements of a hormone produced in pregnancy (hCG).

We will ask you to give a brief outline of the problem, the day of your last period and whether you have had any significant gynaecological or other medical problems in the past. If you have not had a pregnancy test, you will be asked to provide a sample of urine for this to be done. You will then probably have a transvaginal ultrasound carried out.

In the majority of cases, following the scan you will be told what the situation is in relation to your pregnancy, and whether or not any treatment is needed. If the situation is still unclear you may be asked to provide a blood sample in order to measure the pregnancy hormone (hCG) level in your blood. We may ask you to come back after a few days or 1 week to repeat either the scan or a blood test or both.

Results
All results will be given to you immediately at the time of your visit. A written report of the consultation will be sent to your referring doctor the same day. In the unfortunate event of an abnormal result we will contact your gynaecologist or GP. If you do not have a gynaecologist we can give you advice about what to do and arrange any care that may be appropriate.

We provide rapid access to diagnostic tests for women with complications of early pregnancy (generally between 5 & 12 weeks of pregnancy). Bleeding or pain in early pregnancy is not uncommon and may provoke a great deal of anxiety. The nature of these problems is that they occur without warning. Hence we will always aim to see people the same day either in Harley St or Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon.

Nuchal Scan

The vast majority of babies are born normal. However, all women have a small risk of delivering a baby with a physical handicap. One cause can be a chromosomal abnormality such as Down’s syndrome. The risk of a fetus having such an abnormality can be assessed on the basis of maternal age, a scan and a blood test. You and your partner can then decide if the risk of a fetus having a chromosomal abnormality warrants having an invasive test such as CVS or amniocentesis.

Harmony Test

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) analyses cell-free DNA circulating in the pregnant mother’s blood. It is a new option in prenatal screening for Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and other common fetal chromosomal conditions (trisomies 18 and 13).

The test involves taking a sample of maternal blood and is safe and non invasive with a high detection rate for the following 4 chromosomal abnormalities

  • Down’s Syndrome – 99%
  • Edwards Syndrome – 98%
  • Patau’s Syndrome – 80%
  • Turners Syndrome – 96%

NIPT can be undertaken from 10 weeks of pregnancy alongside a dating scan to accurately confirm gestation and the result will be available after 14 days

Invasive Tests

These invasive tests examine the chromosomes of the baby. The most common reason they are performed is to exclude Down’s syndrome, but many other chromosome abnormalities can also be excluded. The principal concern for any women undergoing these tests is the risk of miscarriage. This is approximately 1% for both of the following procedures.

Fetal Anomaly Scan

A detailed examination is performed of the baby from top to toe to exclude any chromosome abnormality or structural defect.

Fetal Growth Scan & Assessment

These scans are performed between 24 and 42 weeks. More than one scan may be required. The aim is to check the growth and health of the baby. This is carried out by:

  • Measuring the baby’s head, abdomen and thigh bone
  • Assessing the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby
  • Recording the presence of fetal movements
  • Noting the appearance and position of the placenta
  • Measuring the blood flow in the umbilical cord and fetal vessels using
    Doppler Ultrasound

3D and 4D Ultrasound Scans 

3D scan

This scan provides you with a three dimensional image of your baby. The best time to perform the scan is between 25-29 weeks of pregnancy. The health your baby is of primary concern and we will always begin the scan by assessing the baby’s growth. Sometimes the baby is not in a favourable position to perform the scan, in this case we may ask you to go for a walk or drink some water.

We will record some cine clips of the scan and still images on a CD/DVD to take away with you. Bookings and enquiries can be made via our Harley Street office.