Why have an early pregnancy scan?

The first trimester of a pregnancy can be an anxious time, and many expectant parents find comfort and reassurance in additional ultrasound scans and check-ups.

In the UK, the National Health Service offers two pregnancy scans as standard: one at 12 weeks and a second at 20 weeks. Waiting weeks and weeks to confirm your pregnancy can feel like a lifetime, especially if you’ve previously experienced pregnancy complications or a miscarriage.

An early pregnancy scan can put your mind at ease by determining viability and ruling out certain health issues early on, so you can relax and look forward to your first NHS scan at 12 weeks.

If you are pregnant and would like to book an early ultrasound, you can do so from just 7 weeks gestation. These early scans are a great option if you’re at all nervous or concerned, or even if you’re just too excited to wait to see your growing baby for the first time.


Reasons to book an early pregnancy scan

If you’ve lost a pregnancy or suffered from complications in the past, an early pregnancy scan can provide some peace of mind while you wait for your first NHS scan.

There are many other reasons why an early pregnancy scan might be desirable, though. For example…

  • To determine viability
  • To calculate gestation age
  • To check for multiple foetuses (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • To exclude the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy
  • To investigate unexplained pain or bleeding


Early scans: what to expect

Early pregnancy scans are safe and pain free. Your sonographer will apply a special gel to your tummy, then they will place an ultrasound probe on your abdomen to transmit a live image of your uterus onto a screen.

An ultrasound scan typically takes just 10 minutes to complete, although this depends on the reason for the scan and what the sonographer sees. You will of course have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like, and the sonographer will be happy to offer their honest professional opinion.

Here at First Encounters Ultrasound, we offer two early scan packages:

  • EarlyReassure™scan (7 to 14 weeks) – aims to determine viability, check for multiple foetuses, exclude the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, and visualise the heartbeat and any movement.

  • Date&Wellbeing™ scan (14 to 16 weeks) – designed to check on your baby’s position and wellbeing.

To enable us to provide an estimated delivery date, our trained sonographer will also take your baby’s measurements: crown-to-rump length (CRL) up to 14 weeks, or head circumference (HC) and femur length (FL) if you’re between 14 and 16 weeks.


How to book your early pregnancy scan

Booking an early pregnancy scan is easy! Simply choose the scan package that suits you and click ‘Book Now’. You’ll then be guided through our secure booking system, where you can choose a date and time that works for you.

Whatever your reason for booking, we hope our early pregnancy scans will give you peace of mind and help you to settle into your pregnancy.

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