Ultrasound Direct Pregnancy Scans

We’re a trusted provider of a full range of private ultrasound scans to suit every stage of your pregnancy. Whether you want to get reassurance between your NHS scans, create a special memory with your loved ones or spend regular time with baby, there’s a scan to suit you. Our passion is providing an exceptional standard of care at affordable prices throughout your pregnancy. Every scan is performed by a fully qualified sonographer. Our aim is to provide you with peace of mind when you need it most and memories to treasure.

Extras

We want you to have the best possible pregnancy scan, so we offer a range of extras to make your experience special for you and your loved ones.

  • Rescan or alternative
    If we can’t complete the primary purpose of your scan, we’ll offer you a rescan free of charge. If a rescan isn’t suitable, we’ll discuss other options with you.
  • 4DFreeview
    You can view your baby live in beautiful 4D at no extra cost at your Dating, NIPT, Anomaly, Growth, Presentation or Gender Scan. We’ll also give you some free thermal black & white 3D scan prints to take home.
  • Complimentary sexing
    We can determine baby’s gender at no extra cost at your Anomaly, Growth, Presentation, 4D Bonding or Premium 4D Bonding Scan.
  • Keepsakes
    You can buy a range of precious keepsakes, including Pulsebeat Bears, keyrings and magnets at your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

On rare occasions we are unable to complete the primary purpose of a scan. For pregnancy scans, this may be due to your baby being in a difficult position, or something else such as overlying bowel gas which can obscure the ultrasound image. If this happens, we’ll book you a free of charge rescan so we can try again! The primary purpose is outlined on each scan webpage.

As healthcare professionals the health and wellbeing of you and your baby is our priority. There may be occasions when we need to discuss unexpected findings or bad news. If this happens during your scan, our team will ensure you receive the best possible compassionate care delivered to you as sensitively as possible.   

We will also recommend your next steps. With your consent, we can contact the local early pregnancy unit or midwife on your behalf where possible. For general health scans, we can email our report and supporting images to your GP.  

If after your scan you become concerned about the scan itself or your images and video clips, just call the clinic where you had your scan to discuss any concerns. If the clinic is closed, contact our head office who will be more than happy to help with your query.

Absolutely! Every scan at Ultrasound Direct is performed by a fully qualified sonographer whose primary interest is your health. All our sonographers are fully trained and appropriately qualified to perform ultrasound scans. Many of our team also work in the NHS locally.

All our sonographers are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and/or the Register of Clinical Technologists and follow the latest safety guidelines.

We are also registered with the Care Quality Commission, an independent regulator, to make sure you always receive the highest possible standards of care. 

At your Dating, NIPT, Anomaly, Growth, Presentation or Gender Scan you can choose to view your baby in 4D at no extra charge if you are more than 12 weeks pregnant with our 4D Freeview option. You can also receive thermal black and white 3D scan prints to take home. Your 4D Freeview is a free add-on – as it’s not the primary purpose of the scan, we will not offer a rescan if baby is not in a suitable position to view in 4D.

An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of inside of the body. The sound waves reflect off different areas in the body and are converted into a moving picture to show what’s happening in real-time. We can record this as a video clip (available for free with our 4D Bonding and Premium 4D scans) and take still images from it.

An ultrasound scan can be external, which is when a probe is placed on the skin of the body part. Scans can also be internal, when a probe is inserted into the body. Both types of scan produce the same type of image and mini clip.

Research suggests that there are no known risks to our method of ultrasound scanning. Scans are painless (although an internal scan may be slightly uncomfortable) and have no known side effects. Ultrasound scans do not use any form of ionising radiation, unlike other diagnostic imaging services such as x-rays.

We follow the British Medical Ultrasound Society’s guidance for the safe use of diagnostic ultrasound equipment.

During pregnancy scans, we can record your baby’s pulsebeat – this sounds very similar to the heartbeat, but is recorded in a different way. We record the pulsebeat by scanning blood flow through the umbilical cord, rather than recording the heartbeat by scanning the heart. This is because consistent ultrasound output in one place can have a heating effect, and we don’t want to put your baby at any level of risk. The fast-moving blood in the umbilical cord quickly disperses any potential heating effect.

Any pregnancy scans referred to as ‘non-diagnostic’ should be avoided. This term suggests that:

  • the ultrasound equipment, which is designed to be diagnostic, is not being used in accordance with manufacturer's guidelines
  • the person operating it may not be a healthcare professional or following their duty of care requirements (such as ignoring any incidental findings)
  • the person operating it may not be professionally insured and could be ignoring the fundamental safety guidelines set out by the British Medical Ultrasound Society and Society of Radiographers

Our pregnancy scans include a wellbeing check of baby, and all our scans (including general health) are carried out by fully qualified sonographers who will act upon their duty of care with incidental findings and can write diagnostic clinical reports.

Our ultrasound systems are sourced through official channels and are set up and operated according to the manufacturer's guidelines. We also have ongoing contact with the manufacturer and their representatives who regularly visit our clinics and provide ongoing machine support.

If you are at an early stage of pregnancy, we recommend that you attend with a full or virtually full bladder. This can make it easier for the sonographer to obtain clearer images of your little one. 

For all pregnancy scans, we recommended that you eat something substantial around 30 minutes before your appointment and have 500ml of cold water or pure orange juice (provided you do not have any form of diabetes) around the same time. Recent research has suggested that carbohydrates such as bread or pasta can make a baby more active.

We understand that dates can sometimes be confusing and not always easy to work out, but we can only offer our Early Scan appointments from 6 weeks.  This is because at 6 weeks we should be able to see your baby’s heartbeat (typically with an internal ultrasound scan). If you are less than 6 weeks pregnant, it is unlikely we will see a heartbeat. This will not only cause confusion and upset for you, but it could mean that we need to make a referral into the NHS.  We recommend that you consider this when booking your Early Scan appointment.

Yes, it’s a good idea to bring your hospital notes with you if you have them. If your notes are online, make sure you can access them on your mobile device. Our sonographers then have access to them if we need to make an onward referral into the NHS. 

If you don’t have any notes yet, you can still book a scan.

If you are experiencing pain or bleeding, go directly to your local A&E or contact your midwife – do not book an ultrasound scan. This is because you may be experiencing a medical emergency and waiting for a scan will cause a potentially harmful delay.

No, we will only discuss your scan appointments or results directly with you. With your consent, we can send a copy of your report and images to your preferred healthcare professional.

No, there is no upper weight limit that will prevent you from having an ultrasound scan. However, the image quality is negatively affected by an increased body mass index (BMI). This means that weight could contribute to difficulty securing clear images. Our sonographers will always do their best to get clear results. If we are unable to obtain clear images due to an increased BMI, our report will include a recommendation for an alternative imaging method (such as CT or MRI).

Visit our FAQs page for any further questions you may have.

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