The 12 week Nuchal Translucency ultrasound Scan can be performed to assess the probability of Down's, Edward’s, Patau’s syndrome and to diagnose certain major structural conditions. This pregnancy ultrasound scan confirms that baby’s heart is beating, and the number of babies such as twins or triplets. Your baby’s head, brain, face, heart, stomach, bladder, hands and feet can be seen. We will also look at the placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord.
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+5 – 13+6 weeks of pregnancy, we often find that women book the Nuchal Translucency Scan with us as a result of the following:
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:-
Our Specialist Sonographers are highly skilled and accredited with the Fetal Medicine Foundation for the performance of the Nuchal Translucency Scan. They will be able to talk to you if you have additional questions, concerns or if you receive a high probability Nuchal Translucency Scan result. More information about further tests including the Non-Invasive Prenatal Test NIPT (Harmony, Panorama, SAFE) or invasive tests such as a CVS or Amniocentesis is available.
This scan is best performed by our Specialist Fetal Medicine Foundation accredited sonographers. Further Consultant advice available.
We offer morning, afternoon and evening availability during the week, as well as weekend appointments. A surcharge will be applied for evening and weekend appointments. We have a wide range of availability therefore same day appointments can be easily arranged. Our Specialist Sonographers are here to reassure even at short notice.
The Birth Company is the first clinic in UK to offer this service allowing you to share your pregnancy ultrasound with friends and family wherever they are in the world. This optional recording can be shared via Email, Facebook and Twitter. We will offer this to you routinely at the end of the scan. The transmission is instantaneous. Please note on this system currently there is no sound, only video. It is a national policy not to permit patient or partner's phone recording in a room. Simply tell your sonographer that you would like an electronic transmission of your scan. It will appear on your phone immediately.
The Nuchal Translucency Scan is a screening test only. It cannot confirm the presence or absence of a chromosomal condition, it offers a likelihood of a condition being present.
If your test result demonstrates an increased chance, we may recommend further screening using Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), referral to your local Fetal Medicine Unit for further ultrasound scans or invasive testing such as a CVS or amniocentesis.
A Non Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) can be performed from 10 weeks onwards of pregnancy. We offer the following tests: Harmony NIPT, Panorama NIPT and SAFE NIPT. This test is non-invasive involving an ultrasound scan then a simple and safe maternal blood test. NIPT has a high sensitivity for the detection of Down’s syndrome, with an increased positive predictive value (PPV) compared to the Nuchal Translucency Scan.
The only way to know for certain during pregnancy if a baby has a chromosomal condition is to have an invasive test such as chorion villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. These tests carry a risk of miscarriage of less than 1%.
More information about Downs Syndrome can be found here:
More information about Edwards' syndrome and Patau's syndrome can be found here:
More information about screening tests offered in pregnancy can be found here:
Screening tests for you and your baby
Screening tests for you and your baby translated versions
For more guidance with prenatal screening please contact Antenatal Results and Choices:
Find out more about our Silver package - Click here for more details.
Find out more about our Bronze package with our Specialist Sonographers - Click here for more details
A Cervical Length Assessment can be added to your Reassurance Scan - Click here for more details
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)
Below is a link to our Transvaginal Ultrasound Consent Form. This must be completed ahead of your appointment to confirm whether you consent or do not consent to having your scan performed transvaginally.
We had received possible worrying news from our NHS anomaly scan, without much information provided or confirmation. I am so pleased that we came to The Birth Company for reassurance, as we are now extremely happy that everything is fine. Shahrzad was fantastic and went through the whole anomaly scan thoroughly, explaining everything and looking in detail at each area. Nothing was rushed and she took her time to make sure baby was in the correct position to get the best results. We can’t thank her and Dr Gibb enough for the confidence they have given us. Would highly recommend The Birth Company for all scans.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
Great Portland Street