All pregnant women are offered an ultrasound scan at around 8-14 weeks of pregnancy. It's used to see how far along in your pregnancy you are and check your baby's development.
Your midwife or doctor will book you a dating scan appointment.
It will usually take place at your local hospital ultrasound department.
You may need to have a full bladder for this scan, as this makes the ultrasound image clearer.
You can ask your midwife or doctor before the scan if this is the case. Find out more about what happens during a pregnancy ultrasound scan.
The purpose of the dating scan is to: Some abnormalities may also be detected at this scan, such as neural tube defects (spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect).
This depends on whether you have agreed to have the screening and when the scan takes place.
Screening for Down's syndrome will happen at the dating scan if: The screening test for Down's syndrome used at this stage of pregnancy is called the combined test.
The combined test involves a blood test and measuring the fluid at the back of the baby's neck (nuchal translucency) with an ultrasound scan.This is sometimes called a nuchal translucency scan.The nuchal translucency measurement can be taken during the dating scan.If you have agreed to have screening for Down's syndrome, the dating scan and the screening will usually happen at the same time.Find out more about the combined screening test for Down's syndrome.You will not be offered the combined screening test if your dating scan happens after 14 weeks.