Ultrasound - the anomaly scan

You will be offered an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks to check that your baby is developing normally.

There are different patterns in various parts of the country, so check what is available in your area with your midwife.

What is an anomaly scan?

Carried out between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, this scan checks that the baby has developed normally and does not have a major ‘anomaly’ or problem. It won’t detect all problems, but it may show problems in the baby’s brain, heart, kidneys or digestive tract. In most cases it will simply show that your baby is growing well. The scan also checks the position of the placenta.

Do I have to have the scan?

No – it’s your choice. There's no confirmed evidence that ultrasound is harmful in pregnancy.
It can be a lovely chance to meet your baby but bear in mind that some women will be told that the scan has picked up a problem.

Take your partner, or a friend you can rely on for support, in case you need it.

Remember: scans will not detect every problem and sometimes suggest that there might be something wrong when there isn’t.

More about ultrasound

Sonographer Julia Hindle answers the most frequently asked questions about ultrasound.

Must-see video

Our expert obstetrician tells you what to expect from the anomaly scan, while real mums talk about how they felt at the time.



20 week scan today!!! so excited and nervous hoping everythings fine and that i will be able to find out if im having a blue or a pink baby :D ... 2 hours to go :D x
Hi everyone, Im 15 weeks and 4 days pregnant with my 1st child. Very excited, was feeling great by so far- no morning sickness, just tired a lot. Having my 20 week scan soon, canni wait :)))))
hey im 17wks and 4 days pregnant i got my scan on the 4th feb 2013 in 2 weeks time..... i hope it goes well just pray to god this is my first baby and im very happy i wish every mums to be good luck in thier pregnancy and pray everything goes well for everyone :)
I am having my 20 weeks scan this Friday,I can't wait but at same time I am very worried and anxious too. I can't wait to see how baby has developed and fingers cross all is going well...and most importantly I really hope that babay is not being akward and will let mummy an Daddy see if they are boy or girl. Roll on End of May when hopefully my baba arrives safe,sound and healthy xxxx
Im on my 18th week and My little ones movements are very strong. I feel baby kick and move ALOT! and my bump is very well there!! Ppl say im more advanced then my dates says but everyone is different, plus im quite pettite so maybe that has something to do with it. Im so excited about our 20week scan which will the day after boxing day :) cannot wait to find out what we are having, such a lovely xmas pressie :) .... labour and birth are a different matter, im already so scared about it!!! Roll on may!......
I will be 18 weeks tomorrow with my 1st baby...so far I don't see my baby bump but my hubby says that he does (its little according to him). I feel sometimes butterflies in my lower abdomen which I believe is the baby moving...(?) Can't still eat enough, don't have any cravings as yet. Feel like eating only when I am too hungry...used to love drinking milk but since this pregnancy started, I hardly had a cup of Milk....AND VERYYYYYYYYY Lazy....pffff....planned to go out for 30 min walking but.... Re Scan-We had to pay £5 to get 2 prints of our baby's 1st scan with a small standard cardboard frame, is it so?
hi im 18 wks with my 3rd child im 34. have a boy at 12yrs & a girl at 8yrs. go for my 20 week scan in 2 wks. taking my kids with me so they can see their little brother or sister.. im so excited its like xmas :) so tempted to find out this time what im having ?!?!?!?!
i'm really nervous about my scan and worried that theres something wrong:(
Hi mommy 2 b had my 20 week scan yesterday found out its a girl happy as we will have 3 of each :)
Hello!! I am 18 weeks this week with my 3rd child... bit nervous as I already have 2 daughters but it will have been 7 years since I had a baby... have felt it move a few times in the past few weeks but not feeling it very much at the mo.... have been showing since about week 12! Cant wait for my scan in 3 weeks! Congrats all & Good luck xx
hello all mummy to be. am 18weeks this week, and still dont feel the moving of the baby is this normal?
hi all mum to be. i am 18 weeks pregnant this weeks, and still can not feel the baby moving as there use to say. is this normal? because i dont know as this is my first pregnancy.
Hi there, im 19wks and 4days with 1st baby we are sooo excited and time seems to be flyin by so quickly...we have our 2nd scan now 22nd although i am truely xcited am also a bit anxious that all will be well :) dont want to know wat the sex it tho as its not often u get gud surprises in life :) gud luck to u all xx
Hi I'm 20 weeks pregnant and 45 years old. After previous miscarriages and then not being able to conceive my partner and I finally stopped actively trying for a baby, and decided to go travelling arond Europe for 12 months. we have just returned to England and I am waiting for a scan appointment. I am really nervous as we had decided not to have the amnio.
Hi I'm 20 weeks pregnant and 45 years old. After previous miscarriages and then not being able to conceive my partner and I finally stopped actively trying for a baby, and decided to go travelling arond Europe for 12 months. we have just returned to England and I am waiting for a scan appointment. I am really nervous as we had decided not to have the amnio.
hiiii m 20 weeeks pragnent...:) i m feeling happy as i have never been in my life...i had my scan last week it was awll fine i met my baby i just love the ways it was moving i dont knw abt itx sex...me n my partner both r very xcited....my due date is aug 20....
hi there im 20 weeks pregnant this is my 1st baby im due for my 2nd scan i would like to know what sex my baby is im due 10.7.11 i hope everthing is ok
hiya am 20 weeks +1 today :) i am 20 and with my first, cant wait for my second scan... hoping all is well and heathly just wanna see our wee munchkin again, hopefull be able to seee sex but rumplestiltskin (aka baby!!) ;) was shy on 1st scan! me and my partner just moved into a new hoouse this week, soo exciting and we started from scratch again eveything new...exciting but exsausting too, glad we had this week off to sort it all! hope you all keeping well and enjoyed your new year!! anyone else due may 24?? <3 XxX
Hi Jodie and all, I too spent a long time trying to have a baby (over 6 years to be exact) so I know how you feel. I am due my second scan on 15 Dec so fingers crossed. Everyone keeps asking me what I would like for Xmas and I can say a good scan result would be the best present ever. Good luck to you all and Merry Xmas. Michelle
Hi, ill be having my 20 weeks scan in a few weeks and is it usual for them to not be able to tell you the sex because of the way the baby is lying? We want to know so we can get the nursery ready?? xx
hi all. i am 16weeks pregnant tomorrow and got my second scan on the 19th dec. i already have two girls and haven't really got a preference for what id like this one to be as i will love it either way (how could you not) also hoping that the baby is fine and growing healthy and strong. x
Hello, Im 16 Weeks Pregnant Today And Still Waiting To Feel My Baby Move. Starting To Get Impacient Now Thou. x
Hi, you just need to go to your doctors and ask to make a booking appointment, after you've done that the nurse/doctor will sort everything else out for you : )
hi my name is sophie and im 18 and im pregnant and i think im about 3 mouths wat do i need to do can u help me plz x
Having my 20 weeks scan when im only going to be 19 weeks, will they still be able to tell wether or not my baby is a boy or a girl? x
just got my 20 week scan date for 29th dec, so exciting as this is my 1st and spent along time being told i'd never have children, defo want to know what we are having , good luck to you all xx
my scan is when i will be bang on 19weeks and not 20. will they still be able to tell me if its a girl or a boy?
Hi, I am 19w and 4 day today with my second baby and will have my second scan tomorrow. Hope it will show the baby is growing well. I would love to have another girl and so would my older one. I am also very excited about find out the baby's sex. Hope everyone is keeping well too
hi all im 14weeks 2moro with my 2nd baby, bit worried as i have a cyst on my left ovary :( got my scan on the 22nd december excited but worried has my lil boy was born with cranial-synosis (fusions of the skull) just want to know if everything is ok with my baby, whats ment to be is ment to be init :) xxx
Am going for my scan on the 24th a cant wait to see the baby!! am hoping we have a little boy this time as we have a little girl! but a dont mind if we have a girl aswell as long as baby is all well!! good luck to all the ladies and babies!!!
Hi, im 19 weeks and 5 days pregnant today and im having my scan on fri, im so excited. Going to ask the sex and all being well and thay can see, I cant wait to find out if its boy or girl. Have 2 girls already so be reali nice to have a lil boy :-) thou either way i dont mind cause every child is a blessing.
hi everyone im 14 weeks today had a scan last week great clear pictures it was amazing got our 20 week scan on the 21st of december and a private sexing scan on the 26th of this month so exciting,i have 3 boys aged almost 16,14 and 12 would love a lil girly but would love a boy all the same a healthy baby is whats important :) will keep u all posted
You get your first bumper pack from the mid wife, second from sainsbury, boots or superdrug and last 3 from the hospital. Im 17 weeks with my first, we're so happy, I can't wait for the day. It is a lot to get your head around especially if you weren't planning but c'est la vie what will be hey! The best moment of my life so far was seeing that 12 week scan, Mind blowing! prepare for amazement, overwhelming moment and take someone with you. Good luck ladies and i hope for all, you all have a healthy birth and a healthy baby or babies at the end of this x x x
Hi all. In 21 weeks into my first pregnancy and am so excited. Our 20 wk scan showed all is well so far which I'm so relieved about. Wishing all other mums to be well x
Hi, I'm having my 20 week scan on Monday, just wanted to know can they tell me the sex of my baby because i know they had stopped at one stage. Really excited to know what i'm having!
They can only sex the baby from 16weeks onwards, and thats only if they catch baby in the right position! 9 days till my 20 week scan and im so excited to find out what im having!
hi every1, 3 weeks left for my first scan and m soooo exited. can any1 tell me will i be able to nw about my child's sex on week 13 or 14. thnxx
hi, im 9 weeks pregnant well i think i am. iv got my scan in 3 weeks. iv got so many questions i just don't know were to start!! :0)
Hi, im 16 weeks pregnant with twins!!!! Its my first pregnancy and im still in shock! haha. Ive got loads of questions about everything, just dunno where to start!! xx
Hi, I'm 18 weeks today, first baby. At my 12 week scan they told me that they wouldn't be able to tell me the sex as the genitals haven't delevoped enough to tell. They say from 16 weeks they can tell you. I think it depends on the hospital though cause I know someone who was told at their 12 week scan. No harm in asking, but remember won't be 100% so could change. I've now decided not to find out the sex, looking forward to the surprise on the day. Xx
Hi all! i am 18 weeks. This will be my second child. Am quite anxious as i suffered a miscarriage earlier in the year. I also found out that I have a cyst on my right ovary when I had a early scan. so far all is well, can't wait for my 20 week scan :o)
I am due for my scan Friday. Its my 12 week scan and the hospital that I'm going too tell you the sex. Any one had the 12 scan and been told the sex? So anxious about the scan.
Hi all, I'm 16weeks along and this is my 4th baby. Please do not be scared, nervous or anxious, you need to relaxe and embrace the moment. It's the most wonderful experience meeting your little baby. :) If you feel you can't relaxe then try looking at mindfulmammas online for relaxation guidance. I used their cd (£6) and just listened to it in the evening 2 or 3 times a week - if you give it a chance it really works. While I was having my last child I found that I was thinking about meadows of soft coloured flowers and it was the best birthing experience I've had!! It helped me with every aspect of relaxing and I kept a really good possitive attitude to it all. Hope this helps someone :o)
hi mums, im 11 weeks pregnant im abit scared for my first scan xxx
hi to all mum , im 18wks! little nervous about my second scan.
hello.. im 14 weeks! had my first scan last week:D the lower abdominal pains should just be from where your stretching. if its your first baby it will affect you more. the pains will eventaually go. i had them for a while but looked it up and seeked advice, it should be from where your growing. its normal x
I'm 11 weeks today I'm so anxious about this baby. Go for a scan next week. I keep getting lower abdominal pains. Don't know why I'm getting them. Any one else have these pains.=(
im 20 weeks pregnant, feeling very anxious about everything
Hi to all hmmm well i just found out that am PG today i have mixed feeling about the hole thing am happy, exited ,nervers every feeling under the sun. am 22 years i have been with my partner for 6 years his very supportive but just dont knw were to start. any advice would be much appriceated
Ive had 2 girls and this be my third baby so Im really keen on finding out the baby's sex this time. I cant wait. Im only 14 weeks tomorrow but going to enjoy every min of this pregnancy instead of wishing the time to go faster lol