Obstetric dating scan
We at MUMS understand that the first few months of pregnancy can be quite an anxious time for many women with various concerns as to whether the pregnancy is developing normally or that it may result in a miscarriage or even an ectopic pregnancy.An ) provides reassurance in this very early stage of your pregnancy.The scan can confirm the number of babies in the uterus, the embryo can be observed and measured by about five and a half weeks and a heartbeat usually detected by 6 weeks.Scans at this stage in pregnancy are reassuring for women experiencing bleeding, pain or who have had previous miscarriages.For all Obstetrics scans, no special preparation is needed, although it is best to wear loose clothing that can easily be lifted or removed in order to expose your abdomen.You will lie on your back on an examination couch and the transducer moved back and forth across your stomach in order to gain the best possible image of the fetus.Early Pregnancy Scans are normally performed trans-abdominally (through your tummy) however an internal (vaginal) scan may be required at earlier gestations ie 6-7 weeks to see all the necessary detail, or if your womb tilts backwards (retroverted).
The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (in their 2000 document on Ultrasound Screening), recommend an Early Pregnancy Scan, undertaken before 15 weeks, which can combine the functions of the Early Viability Scan, Nuchal Translucency Scan and dating scan. These two scans are the ‘minimum’ number of scans required during pregnancy and are offered by ¾ of ultrasound units in the UK.
A Nuchal Translucency (NT) assessment is used to indicate whether a baby has a low or high risk of a chromosomal abnormality.
This is a screening test which helps provide an early indicator to your doctor.
Early Pregnancy Scans are not routinely offered on the NHS but you may have one privately without affecting your NHS entitlement.
Sometimes it is requested by a doctor or midwife to confirm that your pregnancy is healthy (in this case your scan is often called a viability scan) and to calculate the date when your baby is due (usually referred to as a dating scan).