Why would I have a dating scan?

But, assuming your pregnancy is healthy, you'll still have the dating scan at round about the week mark. The scan is done externally by rolling a device over your tummy unless your womb is very deep in your pelvis or you're very overweight, when it may be thought better to offer you a trans-vaginal scan instead.

You'll be asked to arrive with a full bladder. The scan itself will take about 15 to 30 minutes but you may need to hang about for a while in the waiting room beforehand — which can be tricky when you've just drunk all that water!

12 week pregnancy dating scan: here's what to expect

But don't be tempted to skip the water drinking for that reason. It's best to wear trousers or a skirt and a top, rather than a dress, as once you're in the dimly lit room, you'll be asked to lie on your back on a couch and adjust your clothes to expose your bump. Then the sonographer will put some gel on the skin of your tummy be ready: Once the gel's on, the sonographer will place the transducer — which looks a bit like a computer mouse or a small paint roller — onto your bump and move it around, allowing the high-frequency sound waves produced by the transducer to bounce off your belly and create a picture on the sonographer's monitor.

As the transducer gets to work, a black-and-white image of your baby will appear on the monitor that the sonographer is looking at. Often, you can see the screen too, or it'll be turned towards you after a few moments — but not always.

And, if the pregnancy is progressing well, you'll also see a clear heartbeat. Costs for these vary, and aren't always flagged up in advance, so do make sure you take some cash with you. Your partner or another close relative will always be welcome to come with you but it's totally up to you, of course. Most mums-to-be would probably say it's a good idea to have some company, especially if you're anxious about the scan.

Private providers may offer this earlier, however. If you fancy having fun predicting your baby's sex yourself, there are several theories you can try out once you have your week scan photo. In order to get the full results, the findings of the nuchal translucency NT part of your scan need to be combined with the findings of your blood test. If you haven't had your blood test yet timings of these tests do vary from hospital to hospital or if your blood test results haven't come through in time for both results to be combined into the final result, you'll have to wait to get this result from your midwife at a later date do ask when that's likely to be.

You may find that your EDD is quite a few days later or earlier than you thought. You'll also be told whether you're having twins, triplets or more — though you'll probably have noticed that already on the scan monitor!

7 Week Pregnant Ultrasound Scan - Huggies

Of course, you're anxious as well as excited at the idea of seeing your baby. But it really does help to try to keep things in perspective: Even if there is an issue, it may well be something that turns out to be not that serious or something that can be easily managed by the specialists.


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Your pregnancy and baby guide

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.

Early pregnancy scan - ultrasound 5 weeks gestation

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.

What is the purpose of the dating scan?

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. As the embryo matures to a foetus, individual genetics and growth factors influence its growth.

When is a dating scan necessary?

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.

Will I find out the gender of my baby at 12 weeks?

Later on as the pregnancy progresses, a full bladder is not necessary as the enlarging uterus is no longer contained in the pelvic rim. 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.