Can I have an early pregnancy scan?
Understanding why some women are given an early pregnancy scan
A pregnancy can be seen on a scan from 6 weeks, but usually your first scan will be offered at 12 weeks. It’s understandable that those early weeks are an anxious time and you may be unsure of when you conceived, but early pregnancy scans aren’t routinely offered. However, there are reasons why you might be referred for an early pregnancy scan, sometimes called a dating scan or viability scan.
Why you might have an early pregnancy scan
You may be offered an early pregnancy scan if you are experiencing bleeding and spotting in the early stages of pregnancy. Although a common early pregnancy symptom, it will sometimes be advised to have an early scan to rule out early miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
Early scans are not offered to work out your due date and even if you’ve had a miscarriage you are unlikely to be given a scan if all appears well.
When does an early pregnancy scan usually happen?
An early pregnancy scan would usually take place between six weeks pregnant and 10 weeks pregnant. Regular pregnancy ultrasound scans usually happen around 12 weeks and 20 weeks pregnant.
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How long will I have to wait to get an early pregnancy scan?
If your GP or midwife has suggested you have an early scan this is usually be arranged within a day or two. This may depend slightly however on which hospital trust you fall under and how busy their Early Pregnancy Clinic is.
How do they do an early pregnancy scan?
It may be carried out vaginally rather than on your belly, called a transvaginal scan (TVS). At this early stage, this is a more accurate way to check your baby. It shouldn’t be too uncomfortable and may just help reassure you everything is as it should be at this stage.