After finding out you’re pregnant, the wait for the first ultrasound scan can feel like an eternity. Not only are you excited to see your baby for the first time, but you also want to check that everything’s ok.
The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to wait until the first scan offered on the NHS. There’s an option to undergo an early pregnancy scan between 7 and 11 weeks. Here, we’ll look at what an early pregnancy scan is and the top reasons you might want to consider having one.
What is an early pregnancy scan?
An early pregnancy scan is performed before the first Nuchal scan offered on the NHS. This early scan isn’t provided on the NHS so it will need to be performed at a private pregnancy scanning clinic.
It’s typically carried out anywhere between 7 and 11 weeks. This means an abdominal scan can be carried out, rather than internally. In some pregnancies, it may be recommended that testing is carried out before 7 weeks. These scans have to be carried out trans-vaginally.
The benefits of an early pregnancy scan
There’s a number of benefits that come from undergoing an early pregnancy scan. The main one is you can check for abnormalities.
If you’re perceived as having a higher risk pregnancy, an early scan can help to determine whether or not baby is developing as they should. Picking up on any abnormalities early on will prepare you for any decisions you may need to make. It also enables you to be monitored more closely if required.
The scan will also reveal your due date and how far along you are in the pregnancy. You’ll also get to see how many babies you’re expecting. Of course, you’ll also get to actually see your baby for the first time and receive a scan photo early. If nothing else, this early pregnancy scan can help to put your mind at ease if you’ve had a history of difficult pregnancies, or miscarriages.
Are there any risks or complications?
Ultrasound scans, even these early ones, are deemed safe during pregnancy. So, medically there’s no reason you shouldn’t choose to have one. There are a few factors to consider however before determining whether this scan is right for you.
Firstly, it won’t be able to tell you a significant amount of information about your baby. It could also potentially make you feel more anxious having the scan if an abnormality is found. It could also be beneficial waiting to have the first scan at the same time as NIPT screening.
It’s important to take these factors into account as well as the benefits of the scan. If you’re unsure whether or not an early pregnancy scan is right for you, book a consultation with one of our specialists. They will be able to tell you more about the scan and help you determine whether it’s a good option for you. With no risks or side effects, early pregnancy scans can be extremely beneficial; particularly for those with a high-risk pregnancy.
To arrange your early pregnancy scan, call 07835 736627 to arrange an appointment at our Sutton Coldfield pregnancy scan clinic.