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Nuchal Scan

What is a nuchal scan?

The Nuchal Translucency scan is performed at around 12 weeks in order to screen for certain abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome. The nuchal ultrasound is recommended for all pregnancies. We perform it as part of a combined test to provide the most reliable screening results. In addition to the screening tests, we will also check on your baby’s growth and development.

Why this scan?

  • Check that baby is growing and developing well
  • Screening for Down’s syndrome and other conditions
  • Get your estimated due date if you don’t know it yet

What you will receive

  • Detailed report for your maternity notes
  • Scan pictures
  • Online link to ultrasound pictures and video
  • Combined screening test results for Down’s syndrome

When Should You Have a Nuchal Scan?

The Nuchal  scan is recommended for all pregnant women at around 12 weeks. The Nuchal Translucency test can only be performed at a certain stage of your baby’s development. You will need to have the scan between 11 weeks 5 days and 13 weeks 5 days.

The 12 week scan is a key part of your antenatal care. It is particularly important if you are at higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities, for example if you are older parents. The Nuchal Translucency test will screen for these kinds of abnormalities. The results will tell us if your baby is at higher probability of conditions such as Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

Additional checks will also be performed during the scan to ensure that you and your baby are both doing well. We’ll measure your baby to check on his or her growth, listen to the heartbeat and make sure that the placenta is healthy. The scan is also a chance for you to see your baby, enjoy some bonding time, and get some ultrasound pictures.

What to Expect

  • The Nuchal scan is a trans-abdominal ultrasound. You will be asked to lie down and remove any clothing from your stomach. It helps to have a moderately full bladder, so you should have a drink of water before the scan.
  • We will perform the Nuchal Translucency test, check the nasal bone, and perform a blood test. The combined results will tell us whether your baby is at higher probability of Down’s syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. The combined test can detect 84% of babies with Down’s syndrome.
  • If you have any concerns or you receive a high probability result, you will be able to talk to one of our experienced sonographers about what to do next. You may want to arrange additional tests such as amniocentesis to confirm the result.

Arranging Your Nuchal Scan

We make it easy to arrange your nuchal scan in Cheshire. We can perform the scan and explain the combined test results to you. Make sure that you book your Nuchal scan between 11 weeks 5 days and 13 weeks 5 days. You may also want to consider our other screening services for Down’s syndrome using NIPT.

Get in touch if you have any questions about antenatal screening or use our online booking system to arrange your Nuchal scan.

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Clinic Locations

Visit our clinic in Central London and Cheshire


137 Harley Street, London W1G 6BF
Nearest Underground Tube Stations

Baker Street
Regent’s Park
Great Portland Street


Alderley Edge Medical Centre, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, SK9 7HR
Nearest Overground Train Station

Alderley Edge