Having a baby is an exciting and sometimes anxious time in life. Clarity provides high quality ultrasound services to ensure you receive the best possible care during this time.
Ultrasound examinations during pregnancy are performed at various gestational ages and for a number of reasons. At Clarity, ultrasound examinations are only performed by accredited sonographers who are highly trained specialised medical imaging technologists with qualifications and national accreditation in Medical Ultrasound.
Each ultrasound examination will require a referral from your GP, midwife or Specialist Obstetrician and will depend on the clinical need.
The information below is designed to help you understand your ultrasounds and what Clarity can provide during your pregnancy.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Clarity team. We are honoured to be a part of this special time and endeavour to provide you with the best quality examination and a valuable part of the bonding experience with your baby.
When do I have my routine Ultrasound examinations?
Ultrasound examinations are performed when your Doctor deems them necessary based on clinical need. The routine examinations and timings are:
- Dating – less than 12 weeks. Optimally performed at 8 to 10 weeks after your last known menstrual period (LMP).
- Nuchal translucency (NT) – 11 to 13 week 6 days. Best performed during your 12th week for optimal images of the baby.
- Morphology – 20 week fetal anatomy assessment. If you wish to know the sex of your baby, it may be possible for the sonographer to determine this during the scan.
- Third trimester – fetal well being and growth scan – any time required by your Doctor after 24 weeks.
In addition to routine ultrasound, elective 3D/4D images of your baby can be performed at Clarity. Please ask reception for details and cost.
This is performed early in your pregnancy to confirm or determine how far along the pregnancy is and your Estimate Due Date (EDD). Accurate dating is best performed 8 to 10 weeks after your last menstrual period, however can be performed anytime before 16 weeks if your dates are unknown.
Nuchal Translucency (NT) Ultrasound
Best performed during the 12th week (can be performed at 11 weeks to 13 weeks 6 days).This screening test uses special measurements taken on ultrasound to determine the risk (possibility) of the genetic disorder Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome, as well as Trisomy 13 and 18. Your doctor may also request a blood test to accompany the ultrasound. This blood sample should be collected at your preferred pathology collection centre, a few days prior to your ultrasound where possible, however can be collected anytime between 10 to 13 weeks. The risk calculation is obtained via specialised software from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Nuchal Translucency Program (https://www.nuchaltrans.edu.au/). Clarity sonographers are accredited with the Australian Nuchal Translucency program to perform NT ultrasound examinations and are audited annually. A high risk result is not an indication that your baby will have Down Syndrome but that further investigation is necessary. You should discuss the results of your NT scan and risk calculation with your referring Doctor.
Morphology 20 Week Anatomy Scan
Best performed between 19 weeks 4 days and 22 weeks this ultrasound is a detailed assessment of your baby’s anatomy. While it is not as sensitive as looking at your baby once it is born it is a highly sensitive and specialised scan which allows us to check for any concerns which might need follow up both before and after delivery. If you wish to know the sex of your baby please ask the sonographer to check for you during the scan and while there is no 100% guarantee Clarity sonographers always endeavour to provide the most accurate sex assessment possible.
Third Trimester Foetal Growth and Well-Being
Performed anytime after 24 weeks based on clinical need this scan will check your baby’s growth and development in the latter half of your pregnancy. If you have had previous ultrasounds after 24 weeks it is important that you let the sonographer know and bring those results with you to your appointment so we can compare and assess the progress of your baby and pregnancy.
You may wish to have 3D/4D ultrasound examination at 26-30 weeks to see the baby’s face and have images to share with your family and friends. These scans are not for diagnostic purposes and while it is still performed by highly specialised Clarity sonographers, no medical assessment of the baby is performed. As such they are not covered by Medicare and do not require a referral. There is an out-of-pocket expense, please ask reception for details.
Sonographers at Clarity are experienced in obtaining the best 3D images for you, however the quality of the images is also dependant on the position of the baby and amount of surrounding amniotic fluid. To assist, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water for 2-3 days prior to the examination, as this aids in achieving the best possible pictures of your baby. You should also moderately fill the bladder in the hour prior to the examination.
A copy of your normal 20 week morphology ultrasound will be required and you should arrive 10 minutes prior to the appointment to read and sign a non-medical disclaimer.
Click Here to view a downloadable Information Sheet for your Obstetric Ultrasound.