Extra scans during pregnancy

Scans are only performed when there is a medical reason to. Most pregnant women will probably only have one or two scans.

If a possible problem is detected

If the scan shows up a possible problem, you may need to have extra scans and more tests.

Your obstetrician may also refer you to a more specialised obstetrician. You might need to meet the specialised obstetrician in a different maternity hospital.

If your scan shows a possible problem, the time, place and type of birth that you will have needs to be carefully planned. This is to make sure you and your baby are as safe as possible.

It can be upsetting when your scan suggests that there might be a problem with your pregnancy or your baby. Your GP, midwife and obstetrician are there to support you, and to explain everything to you in detail. Never be afraid to ask questions.

Reasons for extra scans

Most maternity hospitals do not perform scans to determine the sex of your baby.

You may have extra scans if:

  • you have any bleeding
  • you have worries about your baby's movements
  • there is a need to monitor your baby's growth

Extra scans may also be needed to check:

  • the position your baby is lying in
  • the position of the placenta (afterbirth)
  • the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby

Page last reviewed: 15 March 2018
Next review due: 15 March 2021