Understanding the Nuchal Translucency Scan: What to Expect During Your First Trimester

 Belgravia | Dulwich

The Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan, commonly known as the First Trimester Scan, is a pivotal part of prenatal care, offering early insights into your baby’s health. At Grosvenor Gardens Healthcare, located in Belgravia and Dulwich, we provide a comforting and professional environment to ensure you feel supported throughout this process.

What is a Nuchal Translucency Scan?

The NT scan is a specialised ultrasound performed between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. This scan measures the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the back of your baby’s neck. An increased thickness can be associated with Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions as well as major congenital heart problems.

What Happens During the Scan?

During the scan, you’ll be asked to lie down while a sonographer applies a small amount of gel on your abdomen. A handheld probe is then used to transmit ultrasound waves, creating images of the baby on a monitor. The procedure is painless and provides a chance to see your baby for the first time.

What to Expect

  1. Preparation: Little preparation is needed, but a full bladder may improve the quality of the ultrasound images.
  2. Duration: The scan typically takes about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Safety: Ultrasound scans are widely used in pregnancy and are considered safe for both mother and baby.

Understanding Your Results

The NT scan results are combined with the mother’s age and specific hormone levels in the mother’s blood (from additional tests) to assess the risk of certain chromosomal conditions. The results are usually given as a ratio (e.g., 1 in 1000), indicating the likelihood of the baby having a condition. It’s important to remember that this scan does not provide a definitive diagnosis but rather a risk assessment.


If your results indicate a high risk, further diagnostic tests such as CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) or amniocentesis may be recommended. These tests can confirm whether a chromosomal condition is present.

Visit Our NT Scan Page

For more information on the Nuchal Translucency scan and to prepare for your visit, please check our detailed guide at our NT Scan Page. Our clinics in Belgravia and Dulwich are equipped with advanced imaging technology to provide you with the highest standard of prenatal care.

Book Your Scan

If you are in your first trimester and haven’t yet scheduled your NT scan, contact Grosvenor Gardens Healthcare today. Our dedicated team is here to support you throughout your pregnancy journey, ensuring you receive the care and reassurance you need.

For further details and to make an appointment, please contact us. We encourage you to explore our site for more information about our comprehensive maternity services and look forward to assisting you in your prenatal care journey.