Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

About Nuchal Translucency Ultrasounds

A nuchal translucency ultrasound is performed between weeks 11 and 13 of pregnancy. Between 9 and 12 weeks gestation, your baby undergoes a process called organogenesis or the process of organ formation. As such, the purpose of this ultrasound is to assess the baby’s development up to this point. This test includes measuring the clear tissue, called the nuchal translucency, at the back of your baby's neck. This measurement helps assess the risk of associated chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart defects. It is not a definitive test. If an abnormal result is detected during the exam, further testing will be recommended. There is optional bloodwork called eFTS (Enhanced First Trimester Screening), offered to patients at this time as well. eFTS is covered through OHIP. More information about eFTS can be found on Ontario’s Prenatal Screening website by clicking here.

All women have a small chance of delivering a baby with a physical or cognitive disability. While a nuchal translucency ultrasound is optional for all pregnant people, it is recommended in the following scenarios:

  • Age 35 or older
  • Family history of chromosomal disorders
  • Previous pregnancy with a chromosomal disorder
  • Abnormal blood test results

Markham Fertility Centre continues to care for its patients through the first trimester. Your fertility doctor will talk to you about whether a nuchal ultrasound is recommended in your instance. The test can be done at CARE Imaging, located on the same floor as the clinic. CARE Imaging allots one (1) hour for the nuchal translucency ultrasound. It can be completed much sooner, but the exam length depends on baby’s position, movement, and technical factors.

A nuchal translucency ultrasound image

Steps to Prepare for a Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

  • 1 Call CARE Imaging once you’ve received direction to do so from your doctor or nurse coordinator, Tel: (905) 294-4291, Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Please indicate how many weeks pregnant you are, what exam you would like to schedule, and if you are pregnant with one baby, twins, or triplets.
  • 2 Finish drinking 1L (32 ounces) of water one (1) hour prior to your appointment time. Your 12 week ultrasound is often completed with abdominal assessment only. In the event that a transvaginal ultrasound would be beneficial to complete the required images, the sonographer will obtain your consent and then have you empty your bladder and change into a gown.
  • 3 You can bring your partner, family member, or friend to your ultrasound. If you are far enough along to see the pregnancy, they will be invited in once your ultrasound is complete to show you both the baby.
  • 4 Please note that Sonographers are not physicians and are legally prohibited from sharing ultrasound results. Your ultrasound results must be shared by your doctor.
  • 5 The exam is scheduled to last 60 minutes, but the exam length depends on baby’s position, movement, and technical factors.

ALLERGY ALERT : Notify the sonographer if you have a latex allergy.

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Sonohysterogram

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A diagnostic exam to evaluate the shape of the uterus and determine whether the fallopian tubes are open or closed.

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Pelvic Baseline Ultrasound with Antral Follicle Count (AFC)

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Ultrasounds that Occur During Treatment

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Follicle Tracking Ultrasound

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A vaginal ultrasound performed during an IUI, IVF or Egg Freezing cycle to assess the number and growth of your follicles. This test helps the doctor know when your ovaries are ready.

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Ultrasound Guided Embryo Transfer

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An ultrasound performed at the time an embryo is transferred into the uterus to help the doctor find the perfect spot.

Pregnancy Ultrasounds

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Early Obstetric Ultrasound

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An abdominal ultrasound that is done to confirm pregnancy, usually between week 5 and 7 of pregnancy, repeated as necessary.

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Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

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An ultrasound performed in the first trimester of pregnancy to determine your baby's risk of congenital conditions like Down syndrome.

Common Questions About a Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

Knowing more about the ultrasound tests you are being asked to do will help prepare you for the overall experience.  Never be shy to ask a question or seek clarification.