Frequently asked questions
Do I need a doctors referral letter for a scan?
You do not need a doctor's referral letter for our obstetric scans. You will need a referral for any gynae or fertility scans.
How should I prepare for my early pregnancy scan?
It is important to have a full bladder for your scan, as this will help with the scan quality. We advise drinking about one litre of water, one hour prior to your appointment.
What is a 4D scan?
Using the latest ultrasound technology with our state of the art GE Voluson ultrasound machines, 4D is a moving 3D image. Movement being the fourth dimension. Often it is possible to see baby blinking, yawning, smiling, and sucking their thumb. We also have large flat screen televisions in each of our clinics, wall mounted in front of you for easy viewing during your scan.
What is the difference between 3D and 4D?
There are two elements to the 3D/4D scan. The 3D element is the still images and the 4D element is the movements. The images and video clips will be transferred directly to your email address or mobile phone.
Is it safe?
Ultrasound has been used in obstetrics for over 50 years. Despite many trials and studies it has not been proven to cause any harm to either baby or mother. The safety of ultrasound is constantly evaluated by the British Medical Ultrasound Society. The 4D scan uses the same ultrasound output levels as the ordinary 2D hospital scan. The machine uses sophisticated methods to transform the 2D image into a 3D/4D image. There is increasing evidence that seeing your baby on ultrasound increases the bond between mother, father and baby. Please note that the 3d/4d scan uses the same sound frequency as a normal 2d black and white scan.
How should I prepare for my 3D/4D scan?
Although you do not need a very full bladder for the 3D/4D, we advise not emptying your bladder for about one hour prior to your scan appointment. Increasing your water intake in the days coming up to your 3D/4D scan can help as well, as your water intake affects baby's amniotic fluid levels. This will help with better image quality during your scan.
What is the best time to have a 3D/4D scan?
We perform 3D/4D scans between 24 and 32 weeks. Our experience in over 10 years of scanning, is that 25-29 weeks is the optimum time. At this stage, your baby will have rounded facial contours, which give an accurate view of the characteristics of his/her face. There is plenty of fluid around your baby to allow for movements and provide a “window” to watch and enjoy the experience. At early stages, baby scan still appear quite slim and not as filled out. At later stages, there is less space as baby continues to grow and fill out the womb. This can make it quite difficult to see baby clearly.
Does this replace my hospital scan?
No! This scan is non diagnostic and no measurements are done after 14 weeks of pregnancy. This scan is just to have a look at baby for reassurance, check baby's heartbeat, and provide a bonding experience. We do not estimate foetal weight or diagnose foetal abnormalities. Should we see an obvious problem, we will of course draw your attention to it, so that it can be followed up by your own doctor and hospital. Please note, at no time does this replace the complete diagnostic ultrasounds done routinely in your own maternity hospital.
I'm having twins, can I still have a 3D/4D scan?
Yes, 3D/4Ds can still be performed on multiples but we do advise coming before 25 weeks as space can get quite limited with more than one baby. It is not usually possible to see both babies in the same image area. There is no extra charge for a twin scan, but we do advise you note it to us when booking your appointment.
Will the 3D/4D scan always be successful?
Usually, but not always. Every baby is different and appearances on scan depend on baby´s gestational age, position, amount of fluid and mother´s BMI (body mass index). While we make every effort to obtain good pictures, sometimes baby may be lying in an unfavourable position and it is not possible to see their face. Should this happen the sonographer will adjust the scan to a Gender or Just A Look scan and it will be charged appropriately.
Can you tell the sex of the baby?
We do require baby between 18 and 34 weeks for gender scans. Depending on baby´s position, we are happy to give our opinion as to what sex the baby is. However, ultrasound sexing of baby is not always 100 percent accurate, due to the position of baby, fluid levels, and mother's BMI (body mass index). The sonographer will give you her or his best assessment. As with any scan in your own hospital, there is always a chance that you may accidentally see the sex of baby, we will do our best to ensure that you do not see it by chance if a surprise is wanted. There are instances when foetal position may not allow proper visualisation to adequately make that determination. When this happens you will be invited back free of charge for a limited gender check.
Can I invite family and friends to join me for my ultrasound scan?
Due to the current COVID 19 situation, one adult guest is welcome to join you for your scan.