16 week ultrasound scan

NHS pregnancy care in the UK typically includes two ultrasound scans: one at 12 – 14 weeks, and another at 18 – 20 weeks.

However, no two pregnancies are the same, and it’s common for an expectant mother to schedule additional check-ups throughout her pregnancy for various reasons. For example, in some cases, the mother or baby may be at elevated risk of certain health issues, so doctors like to keep a closer eye on them.

Parents can also book extra scans at private ultrasound clinics for added reassurance, or to get a few more glimpses of the baby before he or she is born.

So, while it’s not standard to have an ultrasound scan at 16 weeks, the option does exist. Let’s take a look at what you might expect to see at this stage of your pregnancy.


16 week ultrasound scan: what to expect

At the 16-week mark, your baby is now fully formed, although very small. You might be able to see them wiggling their arms and legs.

It’s also possible at this stage to determine the baby’s sex, should you wish to know it.

During your 16-week scan, the sonographer will check on your baby’s general wellbeing and growth development as normal. It is possible to check for chromosomal abnormalities – such as Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome and Patau's syndrome – from 10 weeks onward, so an NIPT blood test may be recommended at this point if you haven’t already had one.


What scans are available from 16 weeks?


Available at 14 – 16 weeks, this scan is designed to provide extra reassurance after your first NHS scan. Our sonographer will take a number of measurements to make sure your baby is growing as expected; we’ll also check amniotic fluid volume and the position of both your baby and the placenta.

This scan package includes 3 x complimentary black and white photos, plus a video clip visualising your baby’s heartbeat.

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Wellbeing Scans

Available at 16 – 40 weeks, these scans focus on monitoring the overall wellbeing of your baby. We’ll listen for your baby’s heartbeat as well as checking position, movement and amniotic fluid volume.

If you choose our Growth&Wellbeing™ scan package, we will also obtain growth measurements to evaluate your baby’s ongoing development.

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Gender Scans

Available at 16 – 32 weeks, our gender scans are also designed to check your baby’s development and wellbeing, but with a complimentary gender reveal included.

You’ll be able to take home black-and-white photos of your baby, plus a video clip and an optional gender reveal scratch card. Be sure to select the ‘Secret Gender’ option if you want us to keep the sex a secret so that you can find out with family and friends at a gender reveal party.

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If you have any questions about our 16-week scan options, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the First Encounters team. We’re always happy to help!