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Ultrasound Scans for the early stages of pregnancy

Midland Women's Health Early Pregnancy Clinic specialises in early pregnancy scans. Our consultant gynaecologists are highly experienced at performing both transabdominal (TA) and transvaginal (TV) ultrasound scans.

We can carry out an early pregnancy scan as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy, calculated from the 1st day of your last monthly period. We should be able to detect a heartbeat. If you are unsure of these dates we recommend that you are scanned two weeks after your first positive pregnancy test.

Viability Scan (6-10 Weeks)

We can perform an early scan 6 weeks into pregnancy to look at the location of the pregnancy sac and to see and hear the baby's heartbeat. If we are unable to see this it may be that your pregnancy is not viable, or just that the scan has been taken too early. This can help to reassure you that your pregnancy is developing in your womb and not in the fallopian tubes (ectopic pregnancy). This scan would be done transvaginally.

Dating Scan (8-12 Weeks)

This scan can measure the dimensions of the baby, allowing us to calculate when your baby is due, hence why it is called a dating scan.

Do I need a transvaginal scan?

We will always try to perform an early pregnancy scan transabdominally (through your tummy), but we may need to scan you internally (transvaginal) to obtain clearer images for early gestations (around 6-7 weeks).

Click here to find out more about a transvaginal ultrasound scan.
Find out more about Early Pregnancy Scans:
Do I need a transvaginal scan?What are the reasons to get an early pregnancy scan?What can I expect during the ultrasound?Early Pregnancy Scan Specialists
Length of procedure:
20-30 Minutes
Anaesthetic:
General or twilight anaesthetic
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What are the reasons for having an early pregnancy scan?

  • To rule out an ectopic pregnancy by checking the location of the pregancy sac within the uterus.
  • To confirm a heartbeat is present to check the viability of the pregnancy
  • To calculate when the baby is due
  • To determine whether it is a single or multiple pregnancy
  • To assess any problems with pain or bleeding

What happens during an early pregnancy ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound scans are sage and won't cause any pain. Ultrasound gel will be applied to your tummy and the ultrasound probe will press on it to transfer images to our screens. An ultrasound can be slightly uncomfortable if your bladder is too full, but this should not be painful.

The ultrasound scan will take around 10 minutes. You may be offered a transvaginal ultrasound scan if the images are unclear. We will explain the images during and after your scan.

Following the scan we will provide you with a detailed report and the chance to ask any questions. We will upload your scan to a USB stick for you to take home the same day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring children to the clinic?
When is the earliest time I can attend an early pregnancy scan?
Do I need a full bladder?
Will I be able to hear my baby's heartbeat?

Early Pregnancy Scan - Specialists

Mrs Ruchira Singh

Mrs Ruchira Singh

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Ruchira is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with her NHS practice based at Birmingham Women's Hospital in Edgbaston. She is the Clinical Director of Gynaecology at her NHS Trust.

Ruchira is a reviewer for European Journal of Obstetrics and gynaecology. She is also a Senior clinical examiner and Honorary lecturer for University of Birmingham.

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