Office Hours

Monday to friday,
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Contact

Phone: 056 779 5302
Fax:     056 779 5303
e-mail: info@womenshealth.ie

Pregnancy

Ultrasound in Pregnancy

All expectant mothers booked to have a baby under the care of the team in Priory House are offered ultrasound examinations as part of their maternity care. Your doctor or your midwife who are experienced in ultrasound carries out these scans.

Before having your scan you will probably want to ask a few questions. We have tried to anticipate some of your questions and to answer them here. Please feel free to ask the team if you have any further questions.

What is Ultrasound?

An ultrasound examination obtains a picture of the inside of the baby without using X ray. It involves sending a special sort of sound wave (inaudible to the human ear) through the skin. The sound waves are reflected by the womb and the baby, and these ‘echoes’ form a picture on the screen.

How is Ultrasound carried out?

You will be asked to loosen any tight clothing and lie on a couch so that the midwife or the doctor can apply gel (ultrasound conductor) to your abdomen. This allows the transducer, which emits the sound waves to be placed on your tummy and move around easily to produce good pictures. The gel is wiped off at the end of the examination; it does not stain the clothes and washes off with water.

You are requested to have a full bladder for your early scan. For your later scans your bladder need not be as full.

Does it hurt?

No. If, however, you are experiencing discomfort due either to your bladder being full or the position in which you are lying, please inform the team member, who will do their best to help ease your discomfort.

How long does it take?

This varies, but usually it takes a minimum of 5 minutes but more detailed scans can take up to 20 minutes.

What can ultrasound tell about my pregnancy?

A great deal! The scans you are offered allow information to be obtained that is relevant to the stage of pregnancy you are at when the examination is carried out.

The first scan offered in early pregnancy can usually tell us:

• That you are indeed pregnant.

• That the pregnancy is situated in the womb.

• That the baby’s heart is beating.

• Whether you are expecting one or more.

• Whether the age of the baby agrees with your own dates.

The 18 – 20 week ultrasound examination is where that baby is looked at in as much detail as possible, so that we can try to detect any possible problems with your baby. It should, however, be stressed that it is not possible to pick up all abnormalities by ultrasound and that this examination has some limitations.

The quality of the pictures varies depending on a number of things. Sometimes the position of the baby, the location of the afterbirth and the mother’s body size can make it difficult to get a really good view. In these circumstances, the scan may need to be repeated.

Getting the results of your scan

The doctor of midwife will tell you the results of your scan at the time

 

 

Ultrasound Services at The Women’s Health Group

1 Priory House

Dean St.

Kilkenny

 

Early Dating

6 – 12 weeks

Prices:

150 Euro

This includes photographs and a computer print out of details obtained

This scan is performed to:

  • calculate the gestational age
  • confirm the presence of the baby’s heartbeat
  • look for twins or triplets etc
  • to confirm that the pregnancy is in the uterus

A full bladder is required for this scan. Sometimes it will be necessary to carry out an internal ultrasound examination.

On occasions it is possible that you will receive a report that cannot confirm how the pregnancy is progressing. This is normally due to the fact that it is simply too early to see the pregnancy or the pregnancy is not growing as it should. If, at your appointment it is not possible to confirm whether your pregnancy is ongoing or not we will recommend that you have a repeat scan in 1 – 2 weeks.

Early Pregnancy Scan-What To Expect At The Women’s Health Group

A scan in early pregnancy is usually performed in the first trimester between 6 – 12 weeks gestation.  You may be having a scan for a number of reasons including confirmation of the EDD (estimated date of delivery), to confirm the pregnancy or just for peace of mind.  You may have a scan earlier in pregnancy if you are experiencing complications in the pregnancy such as bleeding or if you have a history of miscarriage .

When you arrive at The Women’s Health Group you will be met by a member of our Administration Team.  If it is your first time with us you will be asked to complete a registration form.  You will then be asked to have a seat in our waiting room where you will await your sonographer.

Your sonographer will meet with you and take you to the ultrasound room. Your registration details will be confirmed with by the sonographer before the ultrasound procedure begins.

There are two types of early pregnancy scans; an abdominal scan and a transvaginal scan.  An abdominal scan is performed by placing the transducer onto the abdomen of the patient.  A lubricating gel is used to facilitate the scan.  The process of abdominal scan is non invasive and painless.  You will need to have a full bladder for an early pregnancy scan.  Drinking about one pint of water one hour beforehand is normally sufficient to fill the bladder.  

A transvaginal ultrasound can detect earlier pregnancies.  It is often necessary for the sonographer to perform a transvaginal scan (TVS) in very early pregnancy.  A TVS involves the insertion of a probe into the vagina.  Transvaginal ultrasound gives a much clearer view.  If the sonographer feels it necessary to proceed to a TVS the procedure will be discussed with you and your permission obtained.  Like an abdominal ultrasound a TVS is not painful but may be a little uncomfortable.

When the scan is being performed your sonographer will:

  • check for a fetal heart
  • calculate the gestational age
  • determine the estimated date of delivery
  • look for multiples
  • will check to exclude an ectopic pregnancy.

The ultrasound is available for you to view on a TV screen which is located on the wall at the end of the ultrasound couch.  This allows you to view the images produced by the transducer.  At this stage in pregnancy it may not be easy for you to make out what you are seeing on screen but the sonographer will explain what you are looking at.

It is our aim to make your visit with us as relaxing, enjoyable and as stress free as possible. If you have any questions before, during the early pregnancy scan or after your visit please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff and we would be delighted to assist with your query.

Later Dating Pregnancy Scan

12 – 17 weeks

150 Euro

This includes photographs and a computer print out of details obtained

This scan is performed to

  • verify the baby’s heartbeat
  • calculate the gestational age and determine estimated date of delivery
  • look for multiples ( twins, triplets etc)
  • determine that the baby is located normally within the womb and that the pregnancy is progressing normally at this stage
  • examine placental site

 

 

 

Anatomy Survey

19 – 22 weeks

200 Euro

 

This includes photographs and a computer print out of details obtained

This scan consists of a full anatomical survey .  The placenta will be localised and measurements of your baby will be performed to ensure that it is growing normally.

The majority of babies are healthy at birth, but unfortunately about 2-3% of babies are born with a birth defect.  About half of these major defects will be seen on scan and half will not be detected during pregnancy.  This means that even if your scan is apparently normal there is a small chance that your baby may still have a problem because ultrasound has its limitations.

The following table lists different types of birth defects and how likely scanning is to identify each problem during pregnancy:

Condition

What the problem is

Chance of being
seen on the scan

Spina Bifida

Open Spinal Cord

90%

Anecephaly

Absence of the top of the head

99%

Hydrocephalus

Excess fluid within the brain *

60%

Major Heart Problems

 

20%

Diaphragmatic Hernia

A defect in the muscle which seperates the chest and the abdomen

60%

Exomphalos/Gastoschisis

Defects of the abdominal wall

90%

Major Kidney Problems

Missing or abnormal kidneys

85%

Major Limb Abnormalities

Missing bones or very short limbs

15%

Cerebral Palsy

Spasticity

Not Seen

Autism

 

Not Seen

Down’s Syndrome

May be associated with heart and bowel problems

About 40%

*many cases present for the first time late in pregnancy or even after birth.

 

 

Anatomy Survey Scan-What To Expect At The women’s Health Group

An anatomy scan is often referred to as “the twenty week scan” or “the detailed scan”.  It is normally performed between 19 – 22 weeks gestation as this is the best opportunity during pregnancy to examine all the anatomy of your baby in great detail.  It is not necessary for you to have a full bladder for this scan.  The anatomy scan is a transabdominal scan and is non invasive procedure.

When you arrive at The Women’s Health group you will be greeted by a member of our Administration team.  It is likely that you may have previously attended The women’s Health Group for an early dating pregnancy scan but if this is your first time with us you will be given a registration form to complete.  You will then be directed to our waiting room where you will await your sonographer.

Your sonographer will meet you in the waiting area and take you to the ultrasound room.  They will confirm your details before the ultrasound procedure begins.

The sonographer will spend the majority of the time looking at various anatomical details of the baby that are not obvious to you but the sonographer will explain what you are looking at as they scan your baby.  It is our aim to make your visit with us as relaxing and as stress free as possible so if you have any queries please do not hesitate to ask your sonographer.

The sonographer will check all your baby’s organs and take measurements and images.  She will check your baby’s face, baby’s spine, baby’s abdominal wall, baby’s heart, kidneys and stomach.  Your baby’s arms legs, hands and feet will also be checked.   Measurements of the baby’s head circumference, abdominal circumference and femur will be taken. 

As well as checking the how your baby is growing the sonographer will check the placenta, the umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid. 

It is sometimes possible to tell the sex of the baby at this scan, but not always.  If you wish to know the gender of your baby please inform your sonographer at beginning of your ultrasound.  However, determining the sex of the baby is not always easy and it can depend on position of the baby in the uterus.  Baby needs to be in a favourable position to visualise the genital area and the baby does not always oblige.

If at the time of scan a problem is suspected, you will be told at that stage that there may be a problem.  A full discussion of the problem may require you to be reviewed by a fetal medicine specialists.  This can usually be organised within 24 hours if the problem is deemed urgent.  Most problems that need repeat scanning are not serious and approximately 15% of scans will need to be repeated of one reason or another.

At the end of your scan you will be given images of your baby and a detailed report on the findings of your scan. 

To book an Detailed Anatomy Pregnancy Scan please call (056) 7795302. This scan is from 19 weeks to 22 weeks.

The women’s Health Group is conveniently located on Dean Street in Kilkenny and offers ultrasound for all stages of pregnancy  including early pregnancy scans, anatomy and growth scans. The Women’s Health Group is open to all women throughout Ireland.

Gender Scan

Growth and Well Being Pregnancy Scan
19 WEEKS ONWARDS
Cost 150 Euro

This includes photographs and a computer print out of details obtained

The purpose of this scan:

  • to determine gender (from 19 weeks gestation ).

Sometimes due to presentation and lie, baby is not in a favourable position to determine the gender.  If this is the case it may be necessary for you to return for one further scan appointment when hopefully baby will be in a more favourable position.

Gender determination is 85% accurate.

  • to determine the lie & presentation of the baby (breech or cephalic)
  • to estimate fetal weight
  • to determine the location of the placenta
  • to measure the fluid around the baby
  • to measure the blood flow in the baby’s umbilical artery

Growth & Well Being

22 weeks onwards

Cost 150 Euro

This includes photographs and a computer print out of details obtained

The purpose of this scan is:

  • to determine the lie & presentation of the baby (breech or cephalic)
  • to estimate fetal weight
  • to determine the location of the placenta
  • to measure the fluid around the baby
  • to measure the blood flow in the baby’s umbilical artery
  • to determine gender (from 19 weeks gestation ).

It  is not always possible to determine the gender of the baby due to the presentation or lie of the baby. If we are unable to determine gender on the day an appointment for a further scan will be made when hopefully baby will be in a more favourable position.  Gender Determination is 85% accurate

Post Dates & Liquor

40 weeks onwards

€150.00

This includes photographs and a computer print out of details obtained

The purpose of this scan is:

  • to determine the liquor volume surrounding baby
  • to determine the lie & presentation of the baby (breech or cephalic)
  • to estimate fetal weight
  • to determine the location of the placenta

 

COMING SOON TO THE WOMEN’S HEALTH GROUP

Nuchal Translucency Pregnancy Scan

11 – 14 Weeks


This includes photographs and a computer print out of details obtained

This scan is performed to:

  • screen for Down’s Syndrome and other abnormalities (the measurement of the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck can be an indication of a fetal abnormality or syndrome)
  • confirm the presence of certain vital parts of the anatomy such as the baby’s skull, brain, nasal bone, spine, heart, stomach, abdominal wall, kidneys, bladder, arms & legs.

Please note: A blood sample is also requested to help identify any abnormalities. This is more accurate than either the ultrasound part or the blood part of the test done on their own. 

The Nuchal Translucency Tests cannot tell for certain if your baby has a chromosonal defect. However, it can help you decide whether the chances of your baby having a chromosonal problem is high enough to warrant having an invasive test, such as CVS or Amniocentesis.  Follow on tests can be arranged for you should you so wish.