About the Uterine Artery Scan

Screening for Pre-Eclampsia (20-24 weeks)

Pre-eclampsia is when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure; this is often associated with swelling especially in the ankles and protein in the urine. There is no cure but it can be managed and sometimes requires early delivery. It can have very serious implications such as maternal fits, stroke and liver and kidney damage in the woman and growth restriction and stillbirth in the baby.

Routine antenatal care includes regular scheduled checks on blood pressure and urine testing. Since the condition is more common in first pregnancies, the schedule is more regular, but it can occur earlier than expected or in between routine checks and so even more frequent checks may sometimes be wise. The condition also affects placental blood flow and so regular ultrasound assessment of fetal well-being may also be recommended.

An ultrasound scan at 20-24 weeks (Uterine Artery Doppler Scan) can identify if you’re at increased risk of pre-eclampsia, poor placental function and growth restriction so that you can consider more frequent checks for you and baby.