DR NAJEEB LAYYOUS, WWW.LAYYOUS.COM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR NAJEEB LAYYOUS, WWW.LAYYOUS.COM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ultrasound scans of a 20-week-old foetus. At this stage the foetus measures around 25 centimetres in length. The foetus has started to move, and the limbs have developed. Birth occurs at around 38-40 weeks. Ultrasound scanning uses the reflected echoes of high-frequency sound waves to image an unborn baby. This safe, non-invasive method is used routinely in pregnancy to assess the growth and health of the developing foetus, and detect any abnormalities. The standard anomaly scan is carried out when the mother is 20 weeks pregnant. The detection of a serious anomaly at this stage (halfway through pregnancy), allows surgery or a termination to be considered.
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