A dating scan is an ultrasound scan to determine how many weeks pregnant you are and your due date. Read on for more information about what a dating scan offers. A dating scan might be recommended to confirm your due date if you are unsure of your last menstrual period or your date of conception.
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.
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.
There are two types of pregnancies. Those that are planned and those that just happen. The pregnancies that are spontaneous will often make you wonder, when did all this happen? Apart from satiating your curiosity, it has other health-related implications.
Every pregnant woman wants to know her due dateand a due date that is calculated from her last menstrual period with a due date calculator often doesn't match the due date that is estimated by her first ultrasound also known as a sonogram. During an ultrasound, a technician will spread a warm gel over the lower part of your abdomen and then press a tool called a transducer against your belly to examine your fetus using sound waves. An image of your fetus will appear on an accompanying computer screen and while looking at this image, the technician will take some standard measurements from different angles and listen for a heartbeat.
This scan will be your first glimpse at your developing baby and we can accurately give you your due date of your baby. Scan measurements are taken such that the dates of the pregnancy can be confirmed or determined. Other information obtained includes whether the pregnancy is in the uterus or outside the uterus an ectopic pregnancyhow many embryos there are, and whether there are any complications surrounding the pregnancy at this early stage.
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A dating scan works out more precisely how many weeks pregnant you are based on the size and development of your baby at the time of the scan. The NHS offer dating scans at around 12 weeks of pregnancy, however, you may feel that you want more information on your pregnancy earlier than that. Sometimes it can feel like a very long wait from seeing a positive pregnancy test at around 2 weeks and then waiting another 10 weeks to have your pregnancy confirmed with a scan and to see the development of your baby.
Unless there are concerns about the pregnancy it is better to wait to have this scan after 7 weeks as the images are clearer for you to see and better for us to measure. If you come before 7 weeks the baby will be less than 1cm in size and so the scan sometimes has to be performed transvaginally placing the probe inside the vagina to enable us to see the baby well enough to measure and to see the heartbeat. We ask that you come with a full bladder for this scan as it usually allows us to get the best possible picture of the baby.