A nuchal translucency (NT) test is an ultrasound that can be done during the first trimester of pregnancy that determines the baby’s nuchal translucency which is a fluid-filled space behind your baby’s neck. 

Did you know, how many times NT scan is done during pregnancy? Let’s see in detail.

NT scan during pregnancy

Nuchal translucency is a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of your baby’s neck and an NT scan is done to determine the amount of fluid that is present in the baby.

All aborning babies have some fluid at the back of their necks. But babies with Down’s syndrome have an increased amount of fluid, so taking an NT scan will help screen for down syndrome

Which week is best for NT Scan?

which week is best for NT Scan

 

This test is usually done with a blood test between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, or when your baby’s circumference is between 45mm (1.8in) and 84mm (3.3in).

If a doctor has referred you to go for a dating scan, then both the scans can be done at the same time.

Who performs a nuchal translucency scan?

A nuchal translucency scan is typically performed by a specially trained technician known as a sonographer, but other health professionals with the essential training, such as doctors or midwives, may also perform it.

You can visit the following specialists for your NT scan

  • Obstetrician-gynecologists – specialized in pregnancy
  • Perinatologists – specialized in dealing with high-risk pregnancies
  • Ultrasound technicians – specialized in performing ultrasound scans. If an ultrasound technician performs your NT scan, the report will be reviewed by your Ob/Gyn or Perinatologists.

How many times NT scan is done during pregnancy

NT screening is typically performed between weeks 11 1/2 and 13 1/2 of pregnancy, but it must be performed between weeks 10 and 13 of pregnancy.

After that, the tissue thickens and becomes opaque, rendering test results inconclusive.

How many times NT Scan is done

How is a nuchal translucency scan performed?

An abdominal ultrasound scan is used to measure nuchal translucency from 11 weeks 4 days to 13 weeks 6 days of pregnancy.

This nuchal translucency screening will take place in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital ultrasound department.

It takes around 30 to 45 minutes for the NT scan.(based on baby’s position)

A water-based jelly will be smoothed on your abdomen by the ultrasound technician or doctor. The ultrasound technician or doctor will then gently move an ultrasound wand across your skin.

The sensor emits ultrasound waves, which are then relayed back to the ultrasound machine, which generates images or pictures on an ultrasound screen.

The ultrasound screening examines a variety of factors, including the fetus’s size, heart rate, general anatomy or structure, and the number of fetuses present.

At what condition does NT scan is repeated?

To optimize screening acuity, many studies have suggested that NT measurements be repeated up to three times and that the largest appropriate measurement can be taken into consideration.

Will the NT scan results be accurate?

The NT scan results are accurate most of the time but sometimes they aren’t because of the position of the fetus. In such cases, doctors suggest a transvaginal ultrasound scan to obtain accurate results.

In this scan, a small specially shaped transducer is inserted into the vagina and because the transducer is closer to the fetus, it can provide clearer images.

Will I feel the pain during the scan?

Pain during scan

You will not feel any pain during the entire scanning process but you might have some discomfort when the doctor or technician presses your abdomen.

Do not hesitate to take your NT scan during your first trimester because anything that is found early can be cured early.

Prevention is always better than cure, get your NT scan done and know the health conditions of your unborn.

 

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