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 Early Pregnancy Scan sometimes also called a Viability Scan or Dating Scan provides reassurance in this very early stage of your pregnancy. A pregnancy can be seen from as early as 6 weeks from the first day of your last period LMP and not the date of conception. If you have had any bleeding or pain or any other symptoms then this scan will accurately confirm viability. 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.
Take a look at each week of your pregnancy, from conception to birth, with our comprehensive email newsletters. You'll need to activate to enter promotions -. This is a scan or ultrasound which determines your expected date of confinement EDC based on the development of the embryo. The limbs and the yolk sac, though obviously important, are not the primary means of measuring growth.
An average length of the embryo at 7 weeks is anywhere between 5mmmm. The average weight is less than 1 gram. Obviously, every pregnancy is unique and individual factors influence the size of the embryo at this early stage, and the embryo shows development week by week.
The ideal time for a sonographer to assess the gestational age in the first trimester is between weeks of pregnancy. This is the period of time which provides the most accurate assessment. Generally, ultrasounds which are performed in the first trimester are within days of being accurate in terms of assessing gestational age. This is because although every little embryo is unique, there are still defining characteristics of development which apply to all embryos at particular stages of early gestational development.
Early dating scan what to expect
As the embryo matures to a foetus, individual genetics and growth factors influence its growth. This is why an early pregnancy dating scan, rather than one done in the later stages of pregnancy, is considered more accurate when assessing the expected date of delivery. With maturity, the size of the baby correlates less to its age than in the early weeks.
There are two ways of having a seven week ultrasound. One is via the abdomen — transabdominally and the other is through the vagina — transvaginally. Some sonographers believe that at seven weeks of gestation, transvaginal ultrasound provides the best and most accurate visualisation.
With this form of scan it is not as necessary for the mother to have a full bladder. Later on as the pregnancy progresses, a full bladder is not necessary as the enlarging uterus is no longer contained in the pelvic rim.
7 Week Ultrasound
In very early pregnancy, the embryo and pregnancy sac may simply be too small to see very much at all. But with every day which passes, the embryo becomes bigger and more advanced in its development. At seven weeks of gestation it is still too early to identify what gender sex the baby will be. It is also impossible to do a thorough foetal screening assessment because it is still just too premature in terms of embryonic development.
In some respects the seven week ultrasound can be quite accurate because the embryo is developing very quickly. They are also not as mobile and active as they will be with future development.
Early Pregnancy Scans are normally performed trans-abdominally through your tummy however an internal vaginal scan may be required at earlier gestations ie weeks to see all the necessary detail, or if your womb tilts backwards retroverted. We will always try to scan trans-abdominally first but if we need to do an internal scan then this will not be harmful in any way to the baby and would be discussed prior to having the scan.
Ultrasound scans are painless but the gel used within the examination can feel a little cold and you may feel a little discomfort when the ultrasound probe presses on your tummy if you have a very full bladder. An ultrasound scan typcally takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and the images seen will determine whether a Trans-Vaginal ultrasound scan internal is needed.
Your ultrasound scan will be carried out by one of our highly qualified professionals in a caring and comfortable environment. During your scan we will explain the findings to you and following your scan we will give you your images and detailed report.
If we cannot see a heartbeat then this is either due to the pregnancy being too early this is the commonest reason or that the pregnancy is found to be not viable.
From this measurement we can work out how many weeks and days preganant you are this early measurement is approximate for dating. At this stage often the baby can be seen making small movements usually past 8 weeks which are amazing to see.
Early Pregnancy Scan Fee: A detailed report confirming all the scan findings and measurements will be produced including gestation and due date.
Suitable for storing maternity records and information leaflets. MUMS is a private pregnancy and scanning clinic, you can self-refer and arrange an appointment at your convenience.
To book a pregnancy ultrasound scan please telephone us on: If you are suffering with any of these symptoms, please contact the MUMS Practice to arrange an appointment onYour Developing Baby: 9 -12 Weeks Pregnant - Kaiser Permanente