Of the fetus

7th week of pregnancy

In the 7th week of pregnancy we perform an ultrasound scan of the fetus. This is done for two reasons, partly to see if there is more than one fetus and partly to check the heart sound. This pregnancy scan is an integrated part of all treatments for infertility.


Nuchal Translusency

An ultrasound scan of a fold in the back of the neck of the fetus is called Nuchal Translucency, and the purpose of this scan is either to reject or to detect a suspicion of Down’s syndrome in the fetus.

At the ultrasound scan we measure the neck fold of the fetus. The scan is performed in the 11th to 14th week of pregnancy. A fetus with Down’s syndrome often has a thick neck fold. This means that the thicker the neck fold, the bigger the probability of Down’s syndrome.

The risk of Down’s syndrome is evaluated according to the following criterions:

  • If the thickness of the neck fold shows that the risk of Down’s syndrome is more than 0.25%, this is characterised as a particular risk. In these cases we offer to perform an amniocentesis or a placenta biopsy, which will with absolute certainty show whether the fetus has Down’s syndrome.
  • Only one fetus out of 400 with a risk of 0.25% will be born with Down’s syndrome.
  • The general rule is that the older the woman, the greater the risk of Down’s syndrome.

In the table below you can see the correlation between the woman’s’ age and the thickness of the neck fold.

Risk of Down’s syndrome:

Woman’s age

20 years

25 years

30 years

35 years

40 years

Neck fold = 1.0 mm

0.01%

0.01%

0.01%

0.04%

0.13%

Neck fold = 1.5 mm

0.01%

0.01%

0.02%

0.05%

0.20%

Neck fold = 2.0 mm

0.04%

0.05%

0.07%

0.19%

0.69%

Neck fold = 2.5 mm

0.15%

0.17%

0.26%

0.64%

2.3%

Neck fold = 3.0 mm

0.48%

0.54%

0.81%

2.0%

6.9%

Neck fold = 3.5 mm

1.3%

1.4%

2.2%

5.2%

16%



The thickness of the neck fold is measured at an ultrasound scan, performed on the skin of the woman’s abdomen. If the fetus is placed very deep a better result will be obtained by a scan through the vagina. A scan through the vagina causes the same discomfort as a regular vaginal examination.

You will get the result of the examination instantly, and if the risk of Down’s syndrome is more than 0.25% we will offer to perform an amniocentesis or a placenta biopsy.

Nuchal translucency is only performed at Nordica Fertility Centre in Denmark.


Amniocentesis or placenta biopsy

We offer to perform an amniocentesis or a placenta biopsy in those cases where we estimate that there is a particular high risk of a chromosome defect in the fetus. The general rule is that the older the woman, the greater the risk of a chromosome defect in the fetus.


20th week of pregnancy

At ultrasound scans of the fetus in the 20th week of pregnancy we examine if the heart and other organs of the fetus are functioning normally, and very often we can determine the gender of the fetus. Finally, the fetus is examined for malformations.

 

 

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