Early Pregnancy Ultrasound
Advantages of early pregnancy ultrasound scanning include:
- accurate dating of the pregnancy
- diagnosis of viable or non-viable pregnancy
- diagnosis of intra- or extra-uterine pregnancy
- early identification of multiple pregnancies
- diagnosis of certain fetal malformations
Early Pregnancy Scanning
Whilst we principally provide diagnostic scanning services for all stages of pregnancy, our team is happy to see women with early pregnancy complications for a consultation and arrange the necessary follow-up for:
- recurrent miscarriage
- tubal ectopic pregnancy
- non-tubal ectopic pregnancy
- pregnancies of unknown location (PULs)
OMNI provides high quality Ultrasound scans for:
OMNI also offers Nuchal Translucency (NT) screening to women of all ages (above and below 35 years). This is a screening test which does not harm the baby and estimates the risk of your baby having Down’s Syndrome. The main part of the NT test involves an ultrasound scan. The risk of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome is calculated by combining the maternal age, the thickness of the NT measurement, the length of the baby and the levels of two placental hormones in the mother’s blood (free hCG & PAPP-A).
Ovarian cysts in early pregnancy
OMNI will also evaluate the ovaries during early pregnancy. Women almost always have normal ovaries on scans during the 1st trimester. If however an ovarian cyst is present, it is usually a normal finding of early pregnancy.
An ovarian cyst is an enlargement of the ovary that appears to be filled with fluid. The vast majority of ovarian cysts diagnosed in early pregnancy represent a physiological cyst known as the corpus luteum (cystic or haemorrhagic). This is a normal finding in early pregnancy. The corpus luteum supports the lining of the womb and in turn the pregnancy itself. The corpus luteum does this by producing the pregnancy hormone progesterone which helps nurture the pregnancy. Once the pregnancy gets beyond the 1st trimester, the corpus luteum is no longer needed and therefore this resolves spontaneously, not causing any harm whatsoever to the mother or baby.
Diagnosing ovarian cysts
Most ovarian cysts diagnosed in early pregnancy do not cause any symptoms. They tend to be an incidental finding and women are unaware of their presence. However, if an ovarian cyst ruptures, twists or if there is bleeding into the middle of the cyst, then lower abdominal pain on the side of the ovarian cyst occurs. Most ovarian cysts diagnosed in early pregnancy do not represent ovarian cancer; in fact the risk of ovarian cancer in pregnancy is extremely rare indeed (1 in 15,000 to 1 in 32,000 pregnancies).
If an ovarian cyst is found in the first trimester, and we are not concerned about the nature of the ovarian cyst, an interval scan will be arranged 6 weeks after the baby is delivered.
If we are concerned about the nature of the ovarian cyst diagnosed in early pregnancy, we will consult with our Gynaecological Oncology colleagues. This is a very rare event indeed.