More info over scans

Ultrasound (sonogram)
 
In an ultrasound procedure, a device known as a transducer is placed on your abdomen. The device directs high frequency sound waves at your developing baby. The echoes created by the sound waves are turned into visual images of the babys limbs, organs and other internal structures that can be seen on a monitor.
 
Frequently asked questions about ultrasound:
 
Will an ultrasound hurt the baby?
Extensive studies to date show no evidence of ill effects or harm to the baby by these sound waves.
 
 
What can ultrasound detect?
An ultrasound test can detect:
Many birth defects early in pregnancy that otherwise would go undetected until birth
Number of babies present
Babys growth
Confirmation of due date
Placental position
Other information about your pregnancy that can be useful to you and your health care provider
 
What is a fetal echocardiogram?
A fetal echocardiogram is a detailed ultrasound evaluation of the babys heart structure. It is performed in pregnancies at increased risk for congenital heart disease. Fetal echocardiograms can detect most cases of serious, life threatening congenital heart problems.
 
 
What is a targeted ultrasound examination? Anomally scan
A targeted ultrWasound examination looks at a specific organ system or part of the body. It is used to try to detect any trouble before birth in pregnancies at increased risk for specific genetic or physical problems. As with many medical tests, ultrasound is not perfect. Because of factors that can develop later in pregnancy or interfere with the ability to clearly see all of the babys internal structures, an ultrasound will not detect all birth defects.
 
 
Does an ultrasound hurt? 
You should not feel pain of any kind as this is a non-invasive test.
 
Additional testing
You may be advised by your health care provider that you need additional tests such as:
 
Nuchal Translucency (NT) screening
 
Nuchal translucency (NT) screening is a non-invasive screening test used to determine the risk of Down syndrome. It can be performed early in pregnancy, between 11-1/2 and 14 weeks, and is available to women of all ages.
 
Frequently asked questions about NT screening:
 
How is NT screening performed? 
NT screening is a high-resolution ultrasound examination of the babys nuchal area (a fold of skin at the back of the neck). The results are combined with the mothers age to determine the risk for Down syndrome.
 
 
Will the test detect all cases of Down syndrome
The detection rate for Down syndrome is about 80 percent for NT screening. A woman then has the option of undergoing CVS or amniocentesis for a more definitive diagnosis.
 
 
Will this test identify Spina Bifida? 
No. The ultrasound is performed too early to reliably detect this disorder.
 
 
Can you get NT screening anywhere? 
No. The screening is only available at centers that have been trained by and participate in ongoing quality assurance programs.
 
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
 
CVS is a procedure in which a small amount of tissue (chorionic villi) is obtained from the developing placenta between 10 and 12 weeks of pregnancy. The tissue is analyzed for chromosome disorders and, if indicated, specific genetic diseases.
 
On the positive side, CVS is performed much earlier in pregnancy than amniocentesis. On the negative side, CVS does not detect neural tube defects. However, an AFP test and a high resolution ultrasound examination can be performed later in pregnancy to screen for these defects.
 
Frequently asked questions about CVS:
 
How is CVS done? 
An ultrasound examination is performed first to date the pregnancy and locate the developing placenta. The CVS sample can be obtained in two ways depending on the structure of the uterus and the position of the placenta. During transcervical CVS, a thin hollow tube is inserted through the vagina and cervix to reach the chorionic villi. Ultrasound is used to guide the tube to the edge of the developing placenta. A small amount of tissue is removed through the tube. Transabdominal CVS is similar to amniocentesis. Guided by ultrasound, a thin needle is inserted through the mothers abdominal wall to obtain a small amount of chorionic villi. Both procedures usually take just a few minutes.
 
 
Does CVS hurt?? 
Some women say the procedure is uncomfortable. Most women are able to return to their regular activities the day after CVS.
 
 
Does CVS have any side effects? 
 
Some women experience spotting, bleeding or cramping following CVS. These usually go away without difficulty. The following is recommended after undergoing CVS:
No lifting over 15 pounds for 24 hours
No strenuous exercise for 72 hours
No air travel for 72 hours
No sexual intercourse for 72 hours
 
There is a natural miscarriage rate throughout any pregnancy.
 
Amniocentesis
 
Amniocentesis is a procedure in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is obtained between 16 and 20 weeks of pregnancy and then analyzed. Chromosome studies are done on cells contained in the fluid for conditions such as Down syndrome. Amniotic fluid also assists in screening for neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
 
Frequently asked questions about amniocentesis:
 
How is amniocentesis done? 
 
An ultrasound examination is done first to date the pregnancy and locate the placenta and the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. With ultrasound guidance, a needle is inserted through the mothers abdominal wall into the amniotic fluid. A small amount of fluid is removed and sent for analysis. The entire procedure usually takes just a few minutes.
 
 
Does the procedure hurt? 
Some women say the procedure is uncomfortable, although many women say the sensation is like a routine blood draw. If desired, a local anesthetic can be used to numb the skin before the needle is inserted. Some women do experience cramping after the test. Most women are able to return to their regular activities the day after amniocentesis.
 
 
Does amniocentesis have any side effects 
Some women experience vaginal fluid loss or cramping following amniocentesis. This usually goes away without further complications. The following is recommended after undergoing amniocentesis:
No lifting over 15 pounds for 24 hours
No strenuous exercise for 72 hours
No air travel for 72 hours
No sexual intercourse for 72 hours
 
There is a natural miscarriage rate throughout any pregnancy. Amniocentesis increases this natural complication rate for this period of pregnancy by less than 0.5 percent. That is, less than 1 in 200 women would have a miscarriage as a result of amniocentesis.
 
 
What types of problems can be detected by amniocentesis?
Careful study of the cells contained in the amniotic fluid will identify chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome. Measurement of the protein in the amniotic fluid, called Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP), will detect the majority of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. When a history of genetic disease is known in a family, specific testing may be available through DNA or enzyme testing.
 
No method of prenatal testing can guarantee that a baby will be born without birth defects, genetic disease or mental retardation