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Ultrasound during pregnancy

A scan to see your baby inside your womb

An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your baby inside your womb

About

An ultrasound scan (sometimes called a sonograph) uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of your baby inside your womb. They are painless, have no side effects, and you can have a scan at any stage of your pregnancy.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    There is no anaesthetic needed for an ultrasound scan, and you don't usually need to prepare. Your scan will be carried out by a sonographer. They will ask you to lie down before applying a gel to your tummy. They will then move a handheld device called a transducer around your tummy, pressing down gently. Sometimes a bit of extra pressure is needed to get a clearer image of the baby, but this shouldn't cause any discomfort. You'll then see images of your baby on a computer screen while your sonographer or consultant talks you through everything you see. Scans normally take around 20 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Scans are simple procedures that don't usually require any preparation, but your consultant will let you know if there's anything that you should do beforehand. Sometimes, having a full bladder can help the scan produce clearer images of your baby. A full bladder lifts the bowel and helps the ultrasound's sound waves to reach your womb. If you want to, you can bring your partner or a friend with you for your appointment.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Once your scan is complete, your sonographer will be able to answer any questions you have. They will talk to you about the scan and explain the next steps for your future scans. You'll be given a DVD and CD with images of your baby for you to take home and share with your friends and family.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    Lister Fertility Clinic

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Call 020 7881 2000

Request an appointment

Please contact us to book for a pregnancy scan including an ultrasound

020 7390 6350
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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