Anomaly Scan

19–24 weeks


The Anomaly Scan is to:

  • evaluate the growth of baby against the expected gestational age

  • take a detailed look at anatomical structures such as the head, chest, heart, stomach, kidneys and limbs

  • scan for ultrasound ‘soft markers’ - these are slight deviations from expected anatomy that may or may not indicate a problem


Your Anomaly Scan

The Anomaly Scan is also referred to as the 20-week scan or detailed anatomy scan. This scan is designed to specifically check for a series of indicators that could indicate an abnormality in your pregnancy.

If you know that your pregnancy is at a higher risk of abnormality (from a previous scan or test), this scan can help monitor baby’s wellbeing. The Anomaly Scan can also be a secondary option when an earlier screening test has not been performed.

We recommend that you present your Anomaly Scan report to your usual healthcare professional.

This Anomaly Scan is performed by one of our qualified sonographers with diagnostic scanning experience. It includes:

  • 40-minute appointment

  • full report and supporting images

  • if requested, complimentary sexing of your baby

  • if requested, complimentary view of your baby in 4D

This scan takes a detailed look at your baby’s development to check for any potential problems. Please note that ultrasound anomaly screening cannot detect all possible conditions. Even if your scan result suggests everything is normal, we cannot guarantee the absence of abnormalities.

You will receive a clear written report of your scan results, including our recommendation for your next steps. If we recommend a medical follow-up, we can email a copy of your report to your healthcare provider at no extra cost if you provide their contact details.

At your appointment you will be given printed images and your diagnostic report as part of the scan. After your appointment you will be sent a link to the Pim platform, where you can choose to access Pim’s unique features and a digital library of your images and reports. 

For people over 16 years of age.

What you get with Ultrasound Direct

Fully qualified and regulated healthcare professionals

The highest possible image and data storage security

A comprehensive report with recommended follow-up

Friendly, supportive and welcoming staff

Preparing for your Anomaly Scan

  • bring any medical notes you have, either printed or on your phone

  • drink one litre of clear fluid about one hour before your Anomaly Scan appointment

  • don’t urinate before your appointment. This is to give us the best view of baby

  • we’ll need access to your abdomen, so please wear a two-piece outfit (like a top and trousers, or a top and a skirt)

Frequently Asked Questions

After your appointment you will be sent a link to access Pim, our top-of-the-range image management platform. You will have the option to pay to access Pim’s unique features and a full digital library of your images.

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. 

All our sonographers who take blood for blood tests are phlebotomy trained.

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.

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.

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

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