Pregnancy screening and testing

Ultrasounds and pregnancy

This page has information about ultrasounds and pregnant women in the Northern Territory (NT). 

It is recommended that you have an ultrasound at 18 to 20 weeks. You can also have one early in your pregnancy if you are wanting to have genetic testing done or to confirm dates. Your doctor or midwife will tell you if you need another ultrasound later in your pregnancy. 

Your doctor or midwife can organise and discuss all ultrasounds that are recommended in pregnancy. 

Ultrasound in early pregnancy

An ultrasound between 11 and 14 weeks of your pregnancy can tell you:

  • your baby's date of birth 
  • if you have a multiple pregnancy
  • if the pregnancy is viable/in the uterus. 

A nuchal translucency ultrasound between 11 and 13 weeks (and up to six days) can be used to check if your baby has abnormalities.

If you wish to screen for Down syndrome and neural tube defects this scan can be used in conjunction with a blood test.

Ultrasound at 19 to 20 weeks

This ultrasound looks for concerns like:

  • position of the placenta and cord
  • amount of fluid around baby
  • structure of baby heart, lungs, sex.

You can also screen for neural tube defects as part of this ultrasound. This gives a clear view of your baby's spine at this gestation.

Ultrasound later in pregnancy

Your doctor or midwife may recommend more ultrasounds to check for:

  • concerns about baby's growth or weight
  • fluid around baby
  • concern with the position of the placenta from the 18-20 week scan - to recheck
  • concern with baby from previous scan
  • reduced movements later in pregnancy.

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Last updated: 12 May 2016

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