Pregnancy Ultrasound

Pregnancy is an exhilarating phase of life for expectant mothers and, naturally, they would want to know as much as they can about how their growing child is doing. Ultrasound scans answer this need by providing a window into the womb for mothers to assess the health of their child and take any precautionary steps if necessary.

Why is an ultrasound scan performed during pregnancy?

The ultrasound scan is a non-invasive imaging procedure that has become a standard way of monitoring a baby’s health and development in the womb.

Ultrasound scans serve multiple purposes during pregnancy. First, they provide visual confirmation of the pregnancy by imaging a gestational sac, embryo, or fetus. This confirmation is necessary, especially in the early stages, when other signs of pregnancy are less apparent.

Moreover, ultrasound scans help determine the baby’s estimated due date by measuring the embryo’s or fetus’s size. Knowing when the baby is expected to arrive enables you to prepare for prenatal care and ensure the baby is developing healthily.

The ultrasound scan also assesses the baby’s health and detects potential complications. It lets your doctor observe the baby’s growth, check for abnormalities, and monitor the placenta and amniotic fluid levels. Thus, it is a valuable tool for identifying and managing pregnancy-related issues.

Common pregnancy ultrasound scan procedures

Several ultrasound procedures are performed during pregnancy, each serving a specific purpose. The following are some common ones.

Dating ultrasound: The dating ultrasound, typically conducted between 6 and 8 weeks of pregnancy, is a scan that confirms the pregnancy, assesses the number of fetuses, and establishes a more accurate due date.

Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan: Taking place between 11 and 14 weeks, the NT scan evaluates the thickness of the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck. This assessment aids in identifying potential chromosomal abnormalities and offers essential information for further genetic testing.

Anomaly scan: Around 18 to 22 weeks, the anomaly scan provides a detailed examination of the baby’s anatomy, ensuring that all organs and structures are developing correctly. This thorough assessment helps detect any potential anomalies that might require medical attention.

Gender reveal ultrasound: For many expectant parents, the gender reveal ultrasound, usually performed during the second trimester, is a highly anticipated moment. This scan unveils the exciting news about whether you’ll welcome a boy or a girl.

Fetal growth scan: As you progress into the third trimester, a fetal growth scan becomes instrumental in monitoring the baby’s size and development. This assessment ensures that the baby is thriving and reaching appropriate milestones.

Multiple gestations (twins, triplets) ultrasound: For mothers expecting more than one baby, specialised ultrasounds are conducted throughout the pregnancy to monitor the development and well-being of each fetus.

Biophysical Profile (BPP): In the later stages of pregnancy, a Biophysical Profile evaluates various aspects of fetal well-being, including fetal movements, breathing, muscle tone, and amniotic fluid levels. 

Doppler ultrasound: Doppler ultrasound measures blood flow in the umbilical cord and other vital vessels. This type of scan aids in evaluating the baby’s heartbeat and ensuring proper circulation, a sign of a healthy pregnancy.

3D and 4D ultrasound: While not essential for medical reasons, 3D and 4D ultrasounds provide a more detailed and three-dimensional view of the baby’s features, offering parents an emotionally rewarding experience.

What conditions or issues can be detected through prenatal ultrasound?

Fetal abnormalities: Ultrasound can reveal structural abnormalities in the developing fetus, such as heart defects, neural tube defects, and skeletal issues. Early detection allows for appropriate medical intervention and planning.

Multiple pregnancies: Ultrasound is highly effective in detecting multiple pregnancies. Monitoring the development of each twin, triplet, or more is essential for ensuring a healthy outcome for both the mother and babies.

Placental issues: The health and positioning of the placenta are critical for a successful pregnancy. Ultrasound helps identify problems such as placenta previa, a condition where the cervix is partially or entirely covered by the placenta, potentially leading to complications during delivery.

Amniotic fluid levels: Monitoring amniotic fluid levels is critical for the baby’s well-being. Too much or too little amniotic fluid can indicate potential problems, such as congenital disabilities or issues with the baby’s kidneys.

What is the cost of a pregnancy ultrasound in Singapore?

The price of a pregnancy ultrasound in Singapore will depend on the type of ultrasound, the healthcare facility, and any additional services provided. On average, a standard prenatal ultrasound costs SGD 100 to SGD 300. However, more specialised scans or procedures may incur higher costs.

How do you prepare for a pregnancy ultrasound?

Preparing for a pregnancy ultrasound scan is relatively straightforward, and there are minimal requirements for expectant mothers. Here are some general guidelines to follow.

Hydration: Drinking plenty of water before the ultrasound helps improve the clarity of the images. Being well-hydrated ensures enough amniotic fluid around the baby, making it easier to obtain accurate pictures.

Comfortable clothing: Wearing loose, comfortable clothing is advisable, making it easier to expose the abdomen during the procedure. Many ultrasound appointments require the lower abdomen to be accessible for optimal imaging.

Full bladder: A full bladder is necessary for certain types of ultrasounds, such as the transabdominal ultrasound. A full bladder helps push the uterus into a better position for precise imaging.

How long does a typical pregnancy ultrasound appointment take?

On average, a standard ultrasound appointment typically lasts between 20 to 30 minutes. However, more detailed or complex scans may take longer.

If you want to have a relaxed and stress-free experience during the ultrasound, make sure to schedule enough time for the appointment and inquire about the expected duration when making the appointment.

Pregnancy ultrasound scan in Singapore

Ultrasound scans are an indispensable companion, offering expectant parents insight into the development of the fetus. The expertise of healthcare professionals and ultrasound technology go hand in hand in ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

In Singapore, SWC Medical Group offers pregnancy ultrasound services to monitor and optimise your and your baby’s health. Our specialists are committed to providing compassionate and personalised care throughout pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

The number of ultrasounds during pregnancy can vary. A standard schedule includes one in the first trimester, one in the second trimester (around 18-22 weeks), and occasionally, a third in the third trimester if needed. Additional scans may be recommended based on the individual’s health and any identified risk factors.

Our specialists are affiliated with various private hospitals in Singapore, ensuring seamless transitions between clinic care and hospital services when necessary. We prioritise partnerships with facilities that share our commitment to patient well-being. 

Both 3D and 4D ultrasounds are considered safe when performed by trained professionals. These scans provide more detailed, three-dimensional images of the baby, offering a clearer view of facial features and movements. While these scans are not typically necessary for medical reasons, many parents find them emotionally rewarding.

Certain ultrasound markers can indicate a higher risk of genetic abnormalities. However, an accurate diagnosis usually requires additional tests, such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. Ultrasound may identify physical abnormalities, prompting further genetic testing.

If a concern arises, your healthcare provider will discuss the findings with you and provide detailed information about the nature of the issue, potential implications, and available options for further evaluation or intervention. In most cases, additional diagnostic tests may be recommended for a more comprehensive understanding. 

Absolutely. The joy of witnessing the first glimpses of your growing baby is a shared experience, and both partners are typically encouraged to attend ultrasound appointments. 

Generally, no evidence suggests that standard ultrasound procedures pose significant risks when performed within recommended guidelines. Repeated scans are typically only recommended when there are specific medical reasons and the potential benefits outweigh any minimal risks.

Our Specialists

Performing an ultrasound scan requires the hands of a skilled healthcare professional. Our team of experienced obstetricians and gynaecologists provide high standards of care for expectant mothers and their babies. 

With a wealth of experience in prenatal imaging, they utilise modern technology to ensure accurate and detailed assessments. Our specialists operate in SWC Medical Group clinics and are accredited to various hospitals in Singapore.

Dr Ben Choey Wei Yen

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr Chang Tou Choong

Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Maternal Fetal Medicine

Dr Chua Kah Mui Eunice

Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fertility

Dr Geraldine Tan Pei Lin

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr Koh Cheng Huat

Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Gynae-oncology

Dr Loke Kah Leong

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr Paul Tseng Seng Loke

Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fertility, Urogynaecology

Dr Phua Soo Mear

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr Serene Lim

Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fertility 

Dr Shilla Mariah Yussof

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr Tan Guek Cheng Madeleine

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr Tan Wee Khin

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Fetal Assessment Centre

Our Fetal Assessment Centre also offers ultrasound and other Maternal Fetal Medical examinations for patients with complicated pregnancies. If you have particular concerns about your pregnancy, you can discuss them with our specialists located at this centre. 

Why choose
Singapore Women's & Children's
Medical Group?

Full spectrum of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and tertiary Paediatric services

We offer a full suite of Obstetrics & Gynaecology sub-specialties and are able to treat a wide range of paediatric medical conditions.  Apart from the general Obstetrics & Gynaecology, our Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialists have competencies in managing sub-specialties services such as maternal fetal medicine, fertility, gynae-oncology and urogynaecology. Our Paediatric specialists provide medical services in general paediatric and sub-specialise in neonatology, neurology, child development, as well as allergy, immunology and rheumatology.

Team of experienced medical specialists

Both our Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Paediatric medical specialists have proven track records and diverse sub-specialties expertise and these allow us to provide comprehensive, co-ordinated and convenience care through cross referrals and joint management of our patients.

Dedicated management team

Our management team is actively involved in the management of our medical clinics, which enables us to respond quickly to the requirements of our patients and to make decisions promptly.