A Senior Registrar of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Dr. Samuel Illikannu, has urged pregnant women not to ignore a doctor’s advice to go for an anomaly scan.
The expert noted that complying with the directive can help a pregnant woman avert complications, adding that it can also help prepare the family in case of any abnormality in the child.
According to the health expert, pregnancies are different even in women who have had multiple births, hence the reason they should not assume that the attending health officer wants to reap them of their finances by recommending an anomaly scan.
An anomaly scan, experts say, is a prenatal ultrasound performed between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. It checks on the physical development of the baby and can detect certain congenital disorders and also major anatomical abnormalities.
Speaking further with Newsmen, the gynaecologist said, “Because each pregnancy is individualised, that is why you cannot just wake up and say you are doing only two scans.
“Let’s say a woman has had a baby with a congenital anomaly before, you’d want to do a scan.
“Let’s assume that the patient is older, maybe someone who conceived around 40-something years and you know that those pregnancies have a high chance of having anomaly, you’d want to do a scan.
“Another case when such scan is necessary is for multiple gestations,” he said.
Illikannu stated that due to the peculiarity of each pregnancy, a patient may be required to perform as many scans as the doctor deems important.
“Now if it is multiple pregnancies, for instance, you are supposed to do another scan to confirm if they are in the same placenta and have the same membrane. Then after you have done an early scan, you’d be doing this scan between a few gestational weeks.
“That is why I said there’s no particular number of scans because each pregnancy is individualised,” he explained.
Continuing, he noted that due to the financial burden some families bear, going for the required number of scans may not be possible so such scans are left unless they are considered high risk.
He, however, warned that families should not ignore a doctor’s directive to perform an anomaly scan when required, noting that this could help ensure the safety of the baby and the mother.