Scanning Services

FAQs

Read below our common FAQs.

We hope we can answer your query below, but if not, do not hesitate to contact us.

I am undergoing fertility treatment abroad; can I have scans in the UK?

We have many individuals/couples undergoing private fertility treatment both in the UK and abroad. We support these services by offering fertility scans and blood tests to aid your care offered by your clinic and to time optimum treatment.

Your ultrasound results or tests results are sent directly to you via Email for you to forward to your clinic immediately. Our ultrasound reports and test results are formulated to the high standards expected by all good fertility clinics. 

 

Do blood tests hurt?

The procedure of taking blood is called Phlebotomy. This is also known as Venepuncture. This is the process of inserting only the tip of a small needle into your vein, often in the crease of your elbow, to take a small sample of blood to send to a laboratory to test. The procedure is relatively quick and painless. All our clinical front of house staff are trained Phlebotomists and our sonographers are also nurse/midwife trained also.

 

Are ultrasound scans in pregnancy safe?

Ultrasound has been used since the 1960’s and has developed and researched continually since. There is no evidence that diagnostic ultrasound is harmful in pregnancy, when used safely.

British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) advised the following guidelines for safety: 

*Scans are performed with a clear indication or purpose:

At Expectancy Scanning Studios, all of our scans are performed with the health and wellness of you and your baby as the purpose: 

We offer extended appointment times for us to have sufficient time to fully assess the wellbeing of your baby(ies) on scan.

*Safe when using well maintained equipment and staff are properly trained.

We are assessed and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and all our staff are trained to high medical standards and practice is regularly reviewed.

*Ultrasound exposure is kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA principle):

We do not offer souvenir products or heartbeat sounds in the first trimester of pregnancy to support these safety guidelines. 

 

Who will perform my scan?

Your ultrasound scan will be performed by an experienced and qualified sonographer/midwife sonographer. Our sonographers have extensive experience in obstetrics and gynaecology in both the NHS and private practice. 

All sonographers are members of relevant governing bodies such as NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council) SOR (Society of Radiographers) HPC (Health Professionals Council).

Expectancy Scanning Studios Ltd is registered with the Care Quality Commission whom regulate and inspect all health care providers to ensure safe and quality health care services are provided. 

What preparation is needed before the scan?

For fertility/well woman scan this would be offered as a transvaginal ultrasound scan for optimum views. This involves inserting a small thin ultrasound probe into the vagina. The procedure should not be uncomfortable and you are not required to attend with a full bladder. A chaperone is always present on site to accompany you into the scan room if you attend alone. 

All our sonography team are female sonographers.

For pregnancy scans we do ask that you attend with a full bladder. You do not need to drink litres of fluid, simply drink and eat as normal however please refrain from emptying your bladder for one hour prior to your appointment. 

If/when you need to empty your bladder we have ground floor toilets on site.

 

Will I need a transvaginal scan?

Fertility scans are best performed as transvaginal scan.

Pregnancy scans before eight weeks of pregnancy are often ideally performed as a transvaginal scan as the uterus (womb) as this stage is placed low in your pelvis. This involves us inserting a small probe into the vagina, this is not painful.  If you do not wish to have this type of scan we would not force you, however we do suggest attending after approximately eight weeks of pregnancy.

For the first early pregnancy scan in pregnancy a complimentary re scan is offered if unable to meet the objectives of the scan at the first visit (see our T&C’s) 

How early in pregnancy can I have a scan?

Pregnancy ultrasound scans are performed from a minimum of 6 weeks of pregnancy. 

We scan in pregnancy right up until birth. Please see our SERVICES section for scan types and optimum stage of pregnancy for each scan. 

What if I’m not sure of my period dates?

If you have a longer period cycle your dates may be earlier than our calculations dictate. We would suggest attending after 7-8 weeks of pregnancy to potentially avoid not being able to visualise a baby and heartbeat at your scan as too early.

If you have an irregular cycle or no periods (amenorrhea) we suggest you attend a minimum of two weeks following your first positive pregnancy test result. 

Can I listen to the baby’s heartbeat?

Before 16 weeks of pregnancy we do not listen to baby’s heartbeat at early pregnancy scans, however we aim to visualise the heartbeat for you. 

Our policies and practice follow strict evidence based national NHS guidance which is supported by the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS). This research and guidance does not support listening to a baby’s heartbeat on scan prior to 16 weeks as doing so increases power settings. The guidance is called ‘A.L.A.R.A’ which means to keep power settings ‘As Low As Reasonably Achievable’ whilst the baby is developing. 

We fully support this guidance. We can offer heartbeat recording keepsake souvenirs at your scans with us from 16 weeks onwards. 

Can we take photos /videos of the scan?

All our ultrasound scans are medical examinations. For this reason, video recording and photography is not permitted in the clinical scan room. We will supply a formal scan report either in paper format or Email immediately. We also provide photographs to take away for pregnancy scans (please check the services section for photos/souvenirs that are provided at your scan).

 

Do I need to drink water/fluids before?

For fertility/well woman scans you do not need to attend with a full bladder.

For pregnancy scans we do ask that you attend with a full bladder. 

You do not need to drink litres of fluid, simply drink and eat as normal however we do ask you please refrain from emptying your bladder for one hour prior to your appointment. 

If/when you need to empty your bladder we have ground floor toilets on site.

For blood tests, we suggest you hydrate prior for your vascularity to be improved and ensure your veins become more visible. 

What affects the images during ultrasound scans?

Ultrasound scans are performed by directing ultrasound waves through tissues. This can be affected by a variety of reasons. Moving bowel, the pregnancy being early etc can affect what we see on scan. If you have a greater BMI the waves are diffused through the tissues and limit clarity and views. Your bladder being empty can mean the pregnancy sits lower in you pelvis therefore we do suggest you refrain from emptying your bladder for one hour prior.

We do offer longer appointment times, therefore if your baby is in a position that affects the scan we have time to encourage the baby to move. 

I have an anterior placenta? Can I still have a 3D4D scan?

You are welcome to come to us for scans if you have an anterior placenta.

When the placenta is formed, it will be in any area of your uterus (womb), the hospital will check at your 20 week scan the position of the placenta. If the placenta is low they will offer you a follow up scan to check it rises during pregnancy.

Your placenta may be formed at the top, side, back (posterior) or front (anterior) of your womb and any of these positions are normal. 

If your placenta is anterior it can sometimes mean this will be in front of your baby’s face when we try to obtain face (3D4D) views on scan. This is not a problem however we do suggest you attend before 30 weeks of pregnancy in order to try to achieve the best views before baby settles into a low head down position in your pelvis. 

What is the guest policy?

At all scans and tests, you may attend with one adult guest.

For pregnancy scans after 14 weeks please contact us to see our current COVID guest guidance. This will also be explained to you in your appointment reminder text you will receive the day of your appointment. 

How many weeks can you tell the gender from on scan?

We can offer the gender opinion at pregnancy scans from a minimum of 16 weeks of pregnancy. After this time, the baby will have developed further in order for us to visualise the gender. If we are unable to accurately determine the gender from 16 weeks of pregnancy you will be offered a complimentary re scan however we do offer long appointment times. 

If you wish to keep the gender a secret at the time of scan we can write the gender down for you.

If you do not wish to find out the gender we will not disclose this to you. 

Simply tell us when you come in for your appointment. 

How do I get the results of the scan or test?

For fertility/well woman scans the scan findings are explained to you at your appointment. A written ultrasound report will be forwarded to you on the same day via Email for you to present to your healthcare provider.

For pregnancy ultrasound scans, the written report will be delivered to you at your appointment before you leave.

For laboratory tests, the results are delivered via Email. *Please note we are providing a phlebotomy service and so cannot comment on clinical results, these are to be discussed with your health care provider.

For pregnancy screening tests your results are discussed with you personally and a formal report the forwarded to you via email.

 

Do I need to bring my hospital notes? 

The NHS Trust providing you maternity care will provide you with maternity notes to carry with you throughout your pregnancy. When you have your baby these notes are returned to the hospital. They ask that you to carry them with you for you to present to another hospital if you had to present for emergency treatment during the pregnancy. We do not anticipate a problem at your scans with us, however, we do ask you bring notes (if/when your hospital supplies them) in the rare instance we may to refer to them. 

What happens if the scan or test shows something wrong?

Please fell reassured this is quite rare. However, we always inform you of scan findings, even if these findings suggest something is wrong.

We have very good links with all local NHS hospitals and we refer you to them for medical care and opinion. We have robust care pathways that we follow in conjunction with NHS guidelines to ensure we keep you safe, and offer the best quality care. 

I have twins/multiples – can I still attend for scans?

We can happily see you for scans throughout pregnancy until birth to compliment for NHS scans.

After 14 weeks of pregnancy we do ask that you contact us directly to book your appointment with us to allow extra scan time for you. This does involve a small supplementary charge for the extended appointment time. 

 

      

Expectancy Scanning Studios Ltd
a:
Unit 3 The Nursery, Dunn Street Road, Bredhurst, Kent, ME7 3ND | t: 07803 829277
e: contact@expectancyscanningstudios.co.uk

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