Q.Why should I pay for a private scan?
A. The main reasons for booking a private ultrasound is to avoid a long wait for an NHS appointment (the NHS offer the first routine scan at 12-14 weeks), also some women may have experienced a previous miscarriage and will naturally feel anxious. Many women experience worrying symptoms or could be suspicious of a multiple pregnancy or are just purely unsure of the age of pregnancy. The early pregnancy service offered by the NHS does not stretch to being able to offer every women a scan for reassurance. In addition ScanLinc assign more time than the NHS equivalent allowing for a relaxed appointment with the opportunity to discuss any pregnancy related concerns with the Midwife.
Q. What do I need to know before I arrive for my scan?
A. You will receive an email confirming your scan date and time which will have any relevant information, but generally please ensure you have drank water before arrival, not a massive amount as this will cause you to be in pain, but approximately 500ml between the last visit to the toilet and arriving for your scan.
Q. Who will perform my ultrasound scan?
A. A registered Midwife Sonographer with extensive experience in early pregnancy will perform the scan.
Q. Is ultrasound safe for my baby?
A. Antenatal ultrasound scans have been used for many years without apparent ill-effect. For further information please click here to visit the Public Heath England publication.
Q. When will I receive the results of my private scan?
A. In most cases the diagnosis and images will be provided at the end of the appointment unless it is a screening blood test and in that case you will be advised of the turnaround time for those results. If the diagnosis is unclear you may be offered a re-scan appointment which in most cases would be free of charge.
Q. Will I need an internal scan?
A. An abdominal scan is always performed initially but if the Sonographer is unable to determine the images then an internal scan may be recommended, naturally this remains your choice. During an internal scan the probe may feel a little cold and stretchy but most women tolerate this examination without any pain. Contributing factors towards poor abdominal image quality include an increased body mass index (BMI), an empty bladder and on occasion changes to bowel habits.
Q. Is ultrasound scanning safe?
A. The ultrasound service on offer is provided by a fully qualified and experienced Midwife Sonographer who will be working to the guidelines as set by the British Medical Ultrasound society (BMUS) – BMUS-Safety-Guidelines-2009-revision-FINAL-Nov-2009.
Q. Can I bring anyone into the scan room?
A. This is entirely your choice but any guests will be made very welcome and it is natural for family to want to share in this very special bonding occasion. Some people, however choose to bring just their partner as on occasion an internal scan my need to be performed. Please be assured that your dignity is always maintained throughout any type of examination.
Q. What happens if my scan shows there is something wrong?
A. If the Sonographer recommends medical follow up for a diagnosis, your GP could be contacted (with your consent) to arrange follow up, or you can be provided with a report so you can contact your nearest NHS Early Pregnancy Unit directly.
Q. What will I be able to see during my scan?
A. You will be shown the images in real time on the monitor, the Midwife Sonographer will explain fully what you are seeing.
Q. What is the difference between a Chromosome and Gene?
Chromosomes are thread-like molecules that carry the hereditary information and determine the characteristics that are passed down from parents such as height and eye colour. Each chromosome contains one DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule. Chromosomes are arranged in pairs and a human have 22 pairs called autosomes. An additional set of sex chromosomes makes up a total of 46 chromosomes – 23 pairs. Each cell in the human body contains the 46 chromosomes.
A single Chromosome contains a single large molecule of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). A small section of the DNA is called a gene. Therefore, the large DNA molecule that is within the chromosome contains hundreds to thousands of genes. Genes hold a coded instruction known as the genetic code which is passed from parents to their offspring. There are many thousands of genes contained on the 46 chromosomes in each cell of the human body.
One Chromosome can contain hundreds to thousands of genes therefore a person can be born with the normal amount and structure of chromosomes but still have a disease or condition. A mutation in one or more of the genes within the chromosome can cause the defect.
A single gene defect does not usually cause the number or structure of chromosomes to be abnormal, similarly, a person can be born with normal genes but if that person has extra copies of genes due to a chromosome abnormality then those extra copies can cause disruption in the way the genes are supposed to work.
Some Chromosomal abnormalities are inherited but the majority occur as random events during reproductive cell division. A copy of a chromosome could be gained or lost by a reproductive cell in the early stages of fetal development. If one of these cells contributes to the genetic makeup of a child, then that child will have an extra or missing chromosome in each of its cells.
Single gene mutations can be inherited, passed down from parent to child but it is possible to have new mutations (known as de novo) where there has been no previous disorder within a family. Genetic disorders are very complex, and many factors would influence the chance of developing a genetic condition. The chance of passing on a genetic condition to a child will depend on the characteristics of the disease including the inheritance pattern. If one or both parents are carriers of a genetic disorder there is a chance of passing it onto their children, even if they themselves are healthy. Some individuals only find out that they are a carrier of a genetic disorder by chance or after having an affected child.