Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. All pregnant women in England are offered an ultrasound scan at around 8 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is called the dating scan. It's used to see how far along in your pregnancy you are and check your baby's development.
A pregnancy can be seen on a scan from 6 weeks , but usually your first scan will be offered at 12 weeks. 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. An early pregnancy scan would usually take place between six weeks pregnant and 10 weeks pregnant.
A dating scan is an ultrasound examination which is performed in order to establish the gestational age of the pregnancy. Most dating scans are done with a trans-abdominal transducer and a fullish bladder. If the pregnancy is very early the gestation sac and fetus will not be big enough to see, so the transvaginal approach will give better pictures. Dating scans are usually recommended if there is doubt about the validity of the last menstrual period. By 6 to 7 weeks gestation the fetus is clearly seen on trans-vaginal ultrasound and the heart beat can be seen at this early stage 90 to beats per minute under 6 to 7 weeks, then to beats per minute as the baby matures.
Melissa Maimann July 03, When is the best time in pregnancy to get an accurate dating scan? Our midwife explains.