Early anatomy scan (12 – 16 week ultrasound)

Advances in ultrasound technology mean we can start to examine your baby’s anatomy much sooner than in the past. An early anatomy scan between 12 – 16 weeks can help to identify problems (although many problems cannot be seen until the 20 week scan). These days, most women who choose to have the NIPT test will also be referred for this scan.

The early fetal anatomy scan is exactly like it sounds – we look at the developing limbs, skull and some other structures. We also measure the nuchal translucency (NT), which is often increased in babies with Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions.

Baby is still very small at this stage, so we can’t see everything, but there are several problems that can be picked up on the 12 – 16 week ultrasound. Identifying a concern early on gives you more time (and sometimes more options) for further testing and management. Consider this ultrasound for:

  • Women who have not had a scan earlier in the pregnancy
  • Couples with a previous child affected by a structural anatomical problem
  • Twin and triplet pregnancies
  • Women with chronic medical problems, such as diabetes, or using certain medications

We offer the full range of specialist obstetric ultrasound scans. Please click on the links below for more information :

Early fetal anatomy