The early pregnancy scan, also known as the 5-to-6 week scan or dating scan, is one of the first scans offered to women. It can be carried out from around 5 weeks and 6 weeks of pregnancy, at which time a fetal pole should have been identified. The aim of this scan is to confirm the gestational age of the pregnancy and check for any abnormalities.
Towards the end of a pregnancy a woman may be offered the option of having an early scan. This is particularly important if there are any concerns that something may be wrong with the baby or if you want to find out your baby’s sex as early as possible.
What Happens During an Early Pregnancy Scan?
During an early pregnancy scan, ultrasound equipment will be used to view images of your baby. The scan will take around 1 hour and will include some internal measurements such as abdominal circumference and nuchal translucency (NT), which can predict Down’s syndrome risk in later pregnancies.
An early pregnancy scan may be recommended for one or more of these reasons:
* Confirming ovulation
* Detecting ectopic pregnancies
* Identifying weight problems in the fetus
* Estimating due date
* Seeing if baby has stopped moving (stillbirth)
* Seeing if the placenta is healthy or if it has moved from its original position (placental abruption)
* Seeing how many babies are in the womb (multiple pregnancy)
* Checking to see if there are any problems with the cervix (cervical assessment)
How Early Pregnancy Scan Is Done?
Early pregnancy scan is done by using a transvaginal ultrasound probe. You should have this test done at around 5 to 7 weeks of pregnancy. The purpose of this ultrasound test is to find out how many gestational sacs exist and how many fetuses you’re carrying. The doctor will also check the fetus’s heart rate and the overall health condition of your baby inside your womb.
What Can You See On The Screen?
The images that appear on the screen during early pregnancy scan include:
* The number of gestational sacs existing in your womb
* Your baby’s heartbeat
* The size of your baby
* The amount of amniotic fluid present in your womb
* Whether there are any abnormalities in the shape, structure or size of your baby
* Whether there are any abnormalities in the placenta and umbilical cord
* Whether there are any birth defects
If you are looking to get an early pregnancy scan done in UK, you can visit one of our clinics or book an appointment online for pregnancy scan from Ultrasound Plus.