Nuchal Translucency Scan / First Trimester Screening  / Dating Ultrasound Scans from 11-14 weeks of pregnancy

What can the Nuchal Translucency Scan detect?

Parents to be will be given an individual chance of baby having a chromosomal condition present. The three chromosomal conditions which the Nuchal Translucency Scan screens for are Down’s Syndrome, Edwards’ Syndrome and Patau’s Syndrome. The Nuchal Translucency scan has a sensitivity of 85% for detecting Down's Syndrome. This is calculated by inputting certain maternal and fetal factors including:-

  • The age of the mother/egg donor at the stage of conception/egg collection
  • The Nuchal Translucency measurement- this is the measurement from ultrasound scan of the fluid present behind baby’s neck at this stage of embryological development. The measurement is very small, it is taken in millimetres.
  • The Nuchal Translucency usually measures between 1-3mm. The presence of a larger measurement may increase the chance of a chromosomal or physical condition being present.
  • The Presence or absence of baby’s nasal bone. The absence of the nasal bone may increase the chance of a chromosomal condition.
  • Level of two hormones (free ß-hCG and PAPP-A) in the mother's blood known as the hormone biochemistry. A high free ß-hCG combined with a low PAPP-A can increase the chance of the presence of Down’s Syndrome. A low free ß-hCG and low PAPP-A can increase the chance of the presence of Edwards’ and Patau’s Syndromes.
  • The Fetal Heart Rate measurement- the number of times your baby’s heart beats per minute. This varies throughout the day, and throughout the weeks of pregnancy. This measurement is included when calculating the chance of Edwards’ and Patau’s Syndromes.
  • Our Specialist Sonographers will perform a comprehensive, detailed early fetal scan. This includes assessing baby’s head, brain, face, heart, stomach, abdominal wall, bladder, hands and feet. This is more extensive than what is routinely offered by the NHS. This determines the presence of any physical conditions which can be determined at this stage of pregnancy.

What other information can I expect fom the Nuchal Scan?

  • See your baby’s heartbeat and first movements before you can feel them
  • Confirm the number of babies e.g. twins or more
  • Find your Estimated Due Date EDD)- you will know exactly how many weeks pregnant you are
  • Peace of mind and early reassurance
  • Determine cause of any concerning symptoms, such as bleeding if present

What you will receive

  • Comprehensive Early Fetal Ultrasound scan, including Nuchal Translucency measurement and nasal bone assessment and maternal hormone biochemistry blood test
  • Fetal Medicine Foundation Accredited Chance Assessment for chromosomal conditions
  • Same day Results within 4-12 hours
  • Detailed ultrasound report to file with your maternity notes.
  • Comprehensive ultrasound scan results including gestation age and estimated due date (EDD).
  • YourBabyScan Images and Videos direct to mobile and email
  • Baby Ultrasound Keep Sake Images to take home
  • Longer appointment times as routine
  • A calm and relaxing environment
  • High quality professional care from our Specialist Sonographers who are committed to advances in pregnancy care

Which pregnancy scans are currently offered by the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP)?

Pregnant women are offered two routine ultrasound scans during pregnancy, this is called the Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme.

The Nuchal Translucency scan is offered between 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy to screen for the most common chromosomal conditions including Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ Syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

The other routine pregnancy scan offered by the NHS is around 20 weeks of pregnancy called the Anomaly scan. The purpose of this ultrasound scan is to assess your baby’s physical development and to look for 11 rare conditions, including head/brain and heart conditions.

As the 12 week Nuchal Translucency Scan can only be performed when your baby measures between 45mm to 84mm from head to bottom (Crown to Rump Length CRL) which is 11+3 – 13+6 weeks of pregnancy, we often find that women book the Nuchal Translucency Scan with us as a result of the following:

  • The NHS Sonographer was unable to complete the Nuchal Translucency Scan due to the position of baby
  • The NHS were not able to schedule the Nuchal Translucency Scan appointment at a convenient time for the Parents to be
  • The NHS were unable to offer an appointment for the correct pregnancy dates
  • You did not receive a clear understanding of the Nuchal Translucency Scan and would like a more detailed explanation
  • The NHS Sonographer reported findings during the Nuchal Translucency Scan and you wish for a second opinion
  • You prefer a more comprehensive, detailed ultrasound scan to be performed in a calming and relaxing environment
  • You would like some extra reassurance by our Specialist Sonographer in your pregnancy

Arranging Your Nuchal Translucency Scan

We make it easy to arrange your Nuchal Translucency Scan in Cheshire. We can perform the scan and explain the combined test results to you. Make sure that you book your Nuchal Translucency 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. We offer morning, afternoon and early evening availability during the week. We have a wide range of availability therefore same day appointments can be easily arranged. Our Sonographers are here to reassure even at short notice.

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

Patient Information

Some early pregnancy ultrasound scans are performed using a transvaginal probe technique. This technique is used to view the pelvic anatomy optimally, as the ultrasound probe can transmit safe ultrasound waves more directly to the pelvic area. In later stages of pregnancy, it may be advised to perform a transvaginal ultrasound scan to have a closer look at a baby’s anatomy, or to assess the maternal cervix.

There is no clinical risk associated with performing a transvaginal ultrasound scan. Transvaginal ultrasound scans can safely be performed during episodes of vaginal bleeding. 

It is important that you understand the procedure that is associated with this examination.

The ultrasound transducer will be placed in the vagina (the probe is prepared using high grade medical disinfectant)
The transducer will be introduced with a latex / non latex type covering and sterile ultrasound gel.
It will be necessary to move the transducer from side to side, up and down and may be swivelled to obtain ultrasound images of your pelvic anatomy.
If you prefer, you may insert the transducer yourself, otherwise the person conducting the examination will do this.
A third person may be present during the examination acting as a chaperone, if required by the sonographer or yourself.
You may request the examination to be stopped at any time during the procedure.   


If you are a virgin (Virgo intacta; hymen intact), guidance determines that transvaginal ultrasound scans are clinically contraindicated. If you have discussed this concern with your referrer and wish to proceed with a transvaginal ultrasound scan, this type of examination can be performed.

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

Baker Street
Regent’s Park
Great Portland Street


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

Alderley Edge