An Early Dating / Viability Scan in Early Pregnancy
Posted on 25th November 2018 at 09:46
Getting that positive pregnancy test is exciting but it can be a long wait to see or hear the baby’s heart beat and check on the baby’s wellbeing for many women. The usual time for a first pregnancy scan is around 11-14 weeks in the NHS. At the Aster Baby Scan Clinic, we provide early pregnancy scans to give you that peace of mind from 7 weeks. Why have an early pregnancy scan, and what can you see? We believe it is useful and can provide early reassurance and enhance the bonding experience.
Why have and early pregnancy scan?
Around 1 in 5 women may have experienced a miscarriage and are keen to get some reassurance. Some women may have had some bleeding or pain and need that extra reassurance. Around 1 in 90 women will experience an ectopic pregnancy, where the pregnancy has developed outside the womb (uterus), commonly in the fallopian tubes. Many women may be undergoing fertility treatment and a scan at this stage checks that that all is progressing well. An early scan may be helpful if a woman is uncertain of pregnancy dates. It may also be that a woman has not had a miscarriage but just wants to see the baby’s heart beat. An early pregnancy scan can also confirm if there are one or two babies.
What can we see during an early pregnancy scan?
The early baby at this stage is called an embryo. We look for the presence of the heart beat and measure the length of the baby, this is the crown rump length. This measurement determines the gestational age. We may see the yolk sac, which is a circular bright structure that is the baby’s initial nutrition supply. From 6 weeks, each week we are able to see more and more and the baby will change from being like a little 5 mm bean to having arm buds and legs by 8 weeks. At 8 weeks we will refer to the baby as a fetus. If you can, having the scan after 8 weeks is best because it will allow you to see the early anatomy even more clearly which will make the scan even more reassuring.
More growth and development continues and then by the 11-week scan, it will be easy to identify so many common anatomical features such as the brain, stomach, heart, where the umbilical cord enters the baby, spine and arms and legs. By this stage the baby starts to express its personality with lots of movement and jumping around or even head stands. We can also see the placenta and fluid and how this is developing. Information from the scan can be enhanced by pregnancy screening tests such as the Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (Harmony Test) which we can also do for you.
The first trimester scan is both exciting and reassuring. See us at the Aster Baby Scan Clinic and we will put you first at this special moment of life.
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