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Our lines are open everyday from
8:30am – 9:30pm

Call us to book on 0203 960 7960

Our lines are open everyday from
8:30am – 9:30pm

Everything You Need to Know About Early Pregnancy Scans

An early pregnancy scan, also known as a dating or viability scan, is a crucial milestone in your pregnancy journey. This non-invasive procedure uses ultrasound technology to provide insights into the health and development of your baby during the early stages of pregnancy. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of early pregnancy scans and what to expect when considering this option.

What is an Early Pregnancy Scan?

An early pregnancy scan is typically performed between 6 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. It aims to confirm the presence of a developing embryo, determine the gestational age, and assess the viability of the pregnancy. At Ultrasound Plus, our early pregnancy scans are available from 6 to 8 weeks gestation and include a dating and assessment report, two 2D black and white images in a mounted card frame, and a possible transvaginal scan if views are not clear.

Why Consider Getting an Early Pregnancy Scan?

Early pregnancy scans offer peace of mind by confirming the pregnancy, detecting potential complications early on, and establishing a more accurate due date. Additionally, they provide an opportunity to bond with your baby and alleviate any concerns you may have. Our early pregnancy scans at Ultrasound Plus are particularly recommended for women experiencing pain, with a history of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, IVF treatment, or long-term medical conditions.

Benefits of Early Pregnancy Scans

  • Confirm pregnancy and gestational age
  • Assess viability and rule out complications
  • Establish a more accurate due date
  • Provide reassurance and peace of mind

When to Consider an Early Pregnancy Scan

Before scheduling an early pregnancy scan, it’s important to be aware of the signs that indicate the need for this procedure and understand the optimal timing for its performance.

Signs That Indicate You May Need for an Early Pregnancy Scan

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • History of pregnancy complications
  • Unexplained bleeding or cramping
  • Previous miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy

Timing of Early Pregnancy Scans

Early pregnancy scans are typically performed between 6 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, with 8 weeks being an ideal time for accurate dating and viability assessment. At Ultrasound Plus, we recommend considering an early pregnancy scan if you are experiencing any concerning symptoms or if advised by your GP.

How Early is Too Early for an Early Pregnancy Scan?

Scans performed before 6 weeks may not provide reliable results due to the embryo’s small size. It’s advisable to wait until at least 6 weeks for a more accurate assessment. For those eager to confirm their pregnancy early, Ultrasound Plus offers scans from 6 weeks gestation.

What to Expect During an Early Pregnancy Scan

Understanding the procedure and preparing for it can help alleviate any anxiety you may have about the scan. Here’s what you can expect:

Preparation for the Scan

Before the scan, you may be asked to have a full bladder. This helps enhance the visibility of the embryo during the ultrasound examination. At Ultrasound Plus, we recommend drinking at least one pint (0.5 liters) of water before your scan.

Procedure and Duration of the Scan

The sonographer will apply gel to your abdomen and use a handheld device to capture images of your uterus. The scan typically lasts around 15 minutes and is painless. If it is too early for a clear abdominal scan, a transvaginal scan may be offered.

Understanding the Results of an Early Pregnancy Scan

The Sonographer will explain the findings of the scan, including the gestational age, fetal heartbeat, and any visible abnormalities. This information can help you make informed decisions about your pregnancy. At Ultrasound Plus, you will receive a detailed dating and assessment report.

 

 

Risks and Considerations

While early pregnancy scans are generally safe, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and factors to consider before undergoing the procedure.

Potential Risks of Early Pregnancy Scans

Excessive exposure to ultrasound waves
False positives leading to unnecessary anxiety
Rare cases of misdiagnosis or incorrect dating

Factors to Consider Before Getting an Early Pregnancy Scan

Your medical history and risk factors
The necessity of the scan based on your symptoms
Availability of alternatives like blood tests or follow-up scans

Alternatives to Early Pregnancy Scans

If you’re unsure about getting an early pregnancy scan, alternative options are available.

Making Informed Decisions

Before scheduling an early pregnancy scan, it’s essential to have open conversations with your healthcare provider, consider the costs involved, and choose a reputable clinic for the procedure.

Conversations to Have with Your Healthcare Provider

Discuss the reasons for the scan, potential outcomes, and any concerns you may have. Your healthcare provider can help you weigh the benefits and risks of undergoing an early pregnancy scan.

How to Choose a Reputable Clinic for an Early Pregnancy Scan

Research clinics in your area, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from friends or family. Ensure the clinic has qualified staff and up-to-date equipment for a reliable scan. Ultrasound Plus prides itself on experienced sonographers and state-of-the-art facilities to ensure you receive the best care.

Summary and FAQs

In summary, early pregnancy scans play a vital role in monitoring the health of your baby and providing valuable information during the early stages of pregnancy. Here are some common FAQs related to early pregnancy scans:

Are early pregnancy scans safe for my baby?
Yes, early pregnancy scans are generally safe for both mother and baby.

What can the scan reveal about my pregnancy?
The scan can confirm pregnancy, determine gestational age, assess viability, and detect any early complications.

How soon should I schedule an early pregnancy scan after a positive pregnancy test?
It’s best to schedule an early pregnancy scan from 6 weeks gestation for the most accurate results. At Ultrasound Plus, we offer scans from 6 to 8 weeks gestation.

In conclusion, early pregnancy scans offer peace of mind, reassurance, and valuable insights into the health and development of your baby. By understanding the benefits, risks, and considerations associated with these scans, you can make informed decisions that prioritize the well-being of you and your baby. If you have any further questions or concerns about early pregnancy scans, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for guidance.

To learn more about our early pregnancy scan services or to book your appointment, visit Ultrasound Plus or call us today.