Should I get an early pregnancy scan? (2023)

  • experienced bleeding
  • had certain types of fertility treatment
  • had recurrent miscarriages
  • previously experienced an ectopic pregnancy

These sorts of scans are usually done at an Early Pregnancy Unit on the NHS.

How early can I have an early pregnancy scan?

A pregnancy ultrasound scan will be carried out from around 6 weeks. “The earliest you can really scan to actually see anything is about 6 weeks after your last period,” explains Nigel Thomson, Professional Officer for Ultrasound at the Society and College of Radiographers. “Any sooner than this and you’ll almost certainly be asked back for a 2nd scan. If you’re able to wait until about 7 weeks then we will be able to see the heartbeat very clearly.”

As purplebabes on our forum confirms, “I had a scan at 6 weeks which showed a heartbeat. It was an internal scan but I think you would be better waiting (I know how hard that is) until 7 weeks as if you’re out on your dates by a day or two the heartbeat may not have started yet and you would have a really stressful time waiting for another scan a week later.”

Pinkbutton had this exact experience. “I had 2 early scans, one at 6 weeks that didn't show anything, then another at 8 weeks that showed a heartbeat. So I would say leave it until 8 weeks so you know for sure. Going too early as I did just resulted in more worry.”

Can you ask for an early scan on the NHS?

Yes, you can request one if it's for medical reasons.

“If you’re worried about something, or are experiencing pain and/or bleeding, you can talk to your doctor or midwife and they will refer you for a scan," explains Nigel Thomson.

"You may also be able to self refer to your hospital’s Early Pregnancy Unit. However, in most cases if it’s reassurance you’re looking for, you’ll need to pay for a scan privately.”

What can you see at an early pregnancy scan?

Your baby is developing really quickly during these early weeks and so your baby will look very different each week in an early scan:

6 weeks - Your baby will just be visible and measure around 0.5mm. This is the earliest a heartbeat will be detected.

7 weeks (see pic above) – Your baby will be about 1cm with a heartbeat of about 160 beats per minute.

8 weeks - Your baby is growing at about 1mm a day, and will now measure around 1.6cm. You may be able to start to identify the head and body.

9 weeks - Your baby is nearly fully formed, and you may be able to make out your baby's head, body and limbs.

10 weeks – Your baby is now around 3.8cm and you should be able to see him or her bobbing about and making jerky movements.

Can you have a pregnancy scan at 5 weeks?

As mentioned above, it's going to be difficult to see anything before at least 6 weeks. However, if you are experiencing the signs of an ectopic pregnancy with severe pains in your side, you may be given a very early scan at 5 weeks. At this stage, it will be possible to see a small pregnancy sac, but if it's an ectopic pregnancy, the sac will sadly be empty and there'll be no heartbeat.

(Video) When is the best time to attend for an Early Pregnancy Scan?

Will it be an internal or an abdominal scan?

Very early scans are likely to be internal (trans)vaginal scans, but can sometimes be an abdominal scan - like the dating scan you have around 12 weeks.

TheOriginalLea77 shares her positive early internal vaginal scan experience. “I had an internal scan at around 8 weeks and the heartbeat was visible then. I could see the tiny baby and it already had little stumps where arms and legs would be but it still had a yolk in the sac like a bird!”

“In these early stages of pregnancy the sonographer may sometimes try an abdominal scan first," says Nigel. "If they can’t see anything then the next step is to check you are happy to have an internal vaginal scan. This allows you to see things much more clearly.” Different sonographers will take different approaches, though, so be ready for different options.

Remember that there is no pressure to do this - any scan that you have is your choice.

Should I get an early pregnancy scan? (1)

What happens at an early internal vaginal scan?

Unlike an abdominal scan, you don't need a full bladder, so you'll be asked to go for a pee before the scan begins. We'll let fall3n-ang3l explain what happens next:

"You go into the scanning room and you'll be asked to take your trousers/skirt and pants off and put a sheet round you. You go into the corner of the room and have a sheet over you, in order to do this. You go in the corner of the room and they put a curtain round you to do this.

More like this

"Then you shuffle on the bed and they get this stick and put on what looks like a condom (LOL) on the stick then they put some jelly on. Then they ask you to put your knees up and open your legs, like you're having a smear.

"They have a good look with the probe and then turn the monitor to you and show you."

annebop had a similar experience. "They showed me the screen straight away. They said they were checking to see how many were in there, there was only one. They checked for a heartbeat and you could see a flutter and he put the volume on so we could hear it too."

So does an internal scan hurt?

Not according to MFMers on our forum. "It's not painful but might feel bit weird," shares berly153. "They will use what looks like a plastic dildo. It's quite long but they don't put it all the way in. They cover it with a condom and put some lube on the end."

Is it embarrassing to have your partner there?

"It's not overly embarrassing," says betsygrub. "They put a sheet to cover you and my hubby said he would not have known what they were doing if he had not been sat watching from the start."

"My OH is a bit squeamish," continues annebop, "and he said that he had to look away from my bottom half as he was inserting the probe, even though he couldn't see anything because of the towel! Still he found it an equally amazing experience and it certainly has made it feel more real."

(Video) Early Pregnancy Scan (6-8 weeks scan) - What to expect & Why is it so important ?

Do you get a photo afterwards?

This appears to vary according by hospital, and obviously very much on your circumstances.

"On both my early scans I was given a picture afterwards," explains fall3n-ang3l whereas cdsmiler81 had a different experience. "We weren't allowed a pictures with our early scan because we were told 'some ladies have bad news at this stage'."

If you go privately you should be be given a picture. “With a viable pregnancy we would give you a photo of your baby and a heart trace as standard,” confirms Jan Steward, sonographer Jan Steward who is director of Ultrasound Direct and Babybond.

How do you book a private early scan?

What if you’re not experiencing any medical issues but are just feeling anxious that your pregnancy may not be progressing well?

Firstly be reassured you’re not alone. Many of us in the early stages of pregnancy feel like this! Waiting for the standard NHS dating scan at around 12 weeks can seem like an age.

  • Read how MFM mums handled the long wait to their 12-week scan

“I found out last week that I am pregnant and at first I was over the moon," explains Mrs CC on our forum. "However as the week goes on I find myself feeling more and more worried about what could go wrong. It feels as though life has stopped and all I can think about is the pregnancy, seeing the midwife and having a scan! I don't know how anyone waits until the 12 weeks scan. Is it just me that worries this much?"

The answer to that is of course not. Here is Mrs_Matthews' experience of booking an early scan. "When I was expecting my son, I booked a scan for 7 weeks and it was so reassuring. We heard his little heartbeat and saw that he was growing as he should be. My advice is that a happy relaxed mummy leads to a healthy baby, so if a scan will help you achieve that, then go for it.”

But, if your only reason for wanting one is reassurance that your pregnancy is going OK, have a chat with your midwife first. And remember, you’re unlikely to be offered this scan on the NHS, and will probably need to go private.

“We see so many women in the early stages of pregnancy,” explains Jan Steward from Ultrasound Direct and Babybond. “Having a scan at this time can provide vital reassurance.”

How do you find a private scan company?

There are a number of private scan companies - you can find local ones on Google. Look for reviews and recommendations and then check for qualifications and accrediation.

“Make sure you look for a company that has qualified sonographers and CQC registration," says Jan Steward, director at Ultrasound Direct and Babybond. "For us, all of our sonographers have an NHS background and 90% still work in the NHS in some capacity.”

So, before you book your scan, ask what experience the sonographers have and whether they're able to perform vaginal scans if that is required.

How much do private early pregnancy scans cost?

The costs of these scans really varies. At Ultrasound Direct, for example, you would pay £99 for a 30 minute consultation.

What questions should you ask at your early pregnancy scan?

The questions you may have will probably vary depending on whether it is a private or an NHS scan and your reasons for having a scan, but these may help:

  • What is the plan if the sonographer can't detect a heartbeat or baby? (If it's very early, you will almost certainly be asked back for a 2nd scan after a week to 10 days)
  • What will happen after the scan is finished?
  • What is the referral pathway if it is bad news?

Are there any risks to having an early pregnancy scan?

Jane Fisher, director of the charity Antenatal Results and Choices, is quick to reassure. “Ultrasound scans have been used in antenatal care for over 30 years and there is no evidence to suggest that they are harmful to you or your baby.”

(Video) When Should I Have My First Ultrasound During Pregnancy?

But the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a little more cautious; “Ultrasound is a very valuable resource to detect possible problems in early pregnancy, for example miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

"Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that ultrasound is unsafe, during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy the embryo is its most vulnerable because it is incredibly small and cell division at this point is rapid. As a precautionary approach, the RCOG recommends that women should only have a scan at this stage of pregnancy for clinical reasons.”

Recommendations aside, ultimately it’s still your choice. But it's a good idea to have a chat with your midwife or GP before making any final decisions.

Should I get an early pregnancy scan? (2)

What if my baby measures small for dates at the scan? Can the dates be wrong?

This is exactly what happened to Future Mrs Graham on our forum. “I had a scan at 6 weeks because I'd had 2 miscarriages in the past. They could hardly see anything and said that either I was earlier than I thought, about 4 weeks, or the baby had stopped growing.

"I had to go back 2 weeks later so they could have another look. I was a nervous wreck for 2 weeks and didn't sleep the night before. Anyway, I got there and the first thing the doctor said was 'I can see the heartbeat'.

"I cried, I was so happy. It turned out I was 8 + 3 and my dates had been right all along. I'm now 26 weeks, massive and my baby kicks constantly, which is very reassuring.”

Nigel Thomson from the Society and College of Radiographers explains, The usual time to find out about the dates is at the standard 12-week dating scan. But you will of course be given measurements and dates at your earlier scans too.

"If the dates given are significantly greater or less than you expect, then do discuss with your sonographer or midwife if you are concerned.”

dipndazzle adds her friend's experience. “Try not to worry. A friend of mine went for an early scan and thought she was 6 weeks. But they put her at 4 weeks and said to go back 2 weeks later. She has just been back and everything is fine, She was just earlier than she thought.”

OK, the hard question. What if the sonographer can only see an empty sac or no heartbeat?

Firstly this may mean that your pregnancy is not quite as far along as you think. In this case you will be invited back for a 2nd scan after a week to 10 days. Of course this wait can be an agonising time.

“But as difficult as it is, be reassured that you are in the right place and the experts will support you,” says Jane Fisher from ARC.

If you’re having a private scan, Jan Steward says to be sure you have established what the next steps will be before you have the scan. “It's important that the information is passed on to your midwife and doctor so they're aware of what's happened and discuss with you what happens next."

And remember, no heartbeat doesn't have to mean bad news. "I had to have an internal scan and they said they could see the sac but no heartbeat," says jessicadervin.

(Video) How early should I have a pregnancy scan? - Fertile Minds

"I had to wait 2 agonising weeks for another scan. I was sure I had lost the baby as all my pregnancy symptoms had disappeared...

"I was proven completely wrong though. My dates were so haywire and we now have a gorgeous 10-week-old baby girl. Sometimes the scans just aren't that clear."

What if you're scared about having an early scan

It’s completely natural to feel worried at this early time in your pregnancy. So think about whether having a scan will make you feel better or just add to your worries.

“The point of an early scan is to try and relieve anxiety and not cause it,” says Jan Steward. “That is why where possible we encourage women to try and wait until they think they're at least 7 weeks so we can be more definitive about what we see.”

But there is a warning here from Jane Fisher from ARC; “We appreciate that some women can be incredibly anxious in these early stages so having a scan is what you opt for. It can be a double edged sword though because often the sonographer will not be able to see as much as you might like. You need to go in with the understanding that you might be recalled for a scan at a later date.”

Essentially you need to go into the process with your eyes open.

While we want to be positive in these early weeks, some MFM mums have shared a few difficult experiences with us. This includes a story of how one mum-to-be had two early scans, one at 6 and one at 8 weeks, due to her worries over a previous miscarriage and a bit of early bleeding. The scans went well, but sadly the mum went on to miscarry at 10 weeks.

"Obviously for most people this is not the case," explains the mum, "and an early positive scan is good news and the pregnancy continues... However for me it made the shock and pain of my 2nd miscarriage worse as I had let my guard down.”

While we don’t want to be negative, we feel it’s important to be realistic and for you to have all the facts.

So the choice is yours...

Think carefully, weigh up the pros and cons, and decide for yourself - especially if you're looking for reassurance. And remember. have a look out for other signs that you're still pregnant. We've got 39 of them here.



(Video) Is 6 weeks too early for an ultrasound? Find out now.

  • 12 week dating scan - what to expect
  • Dad's story - going to the first scan
  • How MFMers handled the 'long road' to the 12 week scan


Is there any point in getting an early pregnancy scan? ›

The scan can confirm the pregnancy is in the correct place (uterus), confirm a heartbeat, confirm whether there are one or more babies and date the pregnancy. Early pregnancy scans can be performed to confirm the results of a pregnancy test and provide reassurance that everything is progressing normally.

Is it worth having a scan at 5 weeks? ›

In week 5 of your pregnancy the embryo is approximately 1.3mm from the crown of the head to the rump but is very difficult to see and measure at this stage using ultrasound. You'll find that the ultrasound is the best way to measure and monitor a baby during your pregnancy.

Is a 6 week scan a good idea? ›

Prenatal care, such as medical checkups and screening tests, help keep you and your baby healthy. A 6-week ultrasound is a safe part of that process, providing important information to your doctor so they can offer you the best care.

Should I get a first trimester ultrasound? ›

First-trimester ultrasound

An early ultrasound is often a routine part of prenatal care between 6 and 9 weeks of pregnancy, though it can happen anytime before week 14. But a first-trimester ultrasound isn't standard practice because it's still too early for your practitioner to see your baby in detail.

Is it worth going for an early scan? ›

A scan before six weeks can help doctors to see whether the pregnancy is inside or outside your womb (uterus), but little else. If you just want a scan for reassurance that you're having a healthy pregnancy, do try to wait a bit longer. Although waiting can be hard, a later scan will give you more information.

Is it worth having a scan before 12 weeks? ›

You can get a private early pregnancy scan at 6 – 12 weeks. By 6 weeks the doctor should be able to see your baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound scan. The heartbeat will be visualised and not heard at this stage. Any earlier than this and it will be hard to properly detect your baby on the scan.

Is 6 weeks 5 days too early for dating scan? ›

6 to 7 weeks gestation is the time that Ultrasound Care recommends ultrasound and an early dating scan for high risk pregnancies. At 6 weeks gestation your pregnancy test will be positive. A transvaginal ultrasound examination may show a tiny sac in the lining of the womb about 6mm in size.

Can early scan cause miscarriage? ›

Neither type of scan is dangerous to the baby and they do not increase your risk of miscarriage. You may also be offered blood tests to measure hormones associated with pregnancy.

Can early ultrasound cause miscarriage? ›

Can ultrasound scans harm the baby? There is no evidence that having a vaginal or an abdominal scan will cause a miscarriage or harm your baby.

Is no heartbeat at 6 weeks normal? ›

In 15–20% cases out of 100 pregnancies, the fetal heartbeat is not detected within 6 weeks of internal sonography. The situation can be very depressing because couples who have conceived but there's no fetal heartbeat, such couples begin to panic as they generally interpret it as a pregnancy loss.

Will my 7 week scan be OK? ›

At the 7 weeks scan, only a gestational sac and yolk sac may be seen. It's still very early in the pregnancy. If there are concerns, you may be asked to return for another scan in 7 to 10 days to check on the embryo's development.

Is no heartbeat at 7 weeks a successful pregnancy? ›

No Fetal Heartbeat After Seven Weeks Gestation

If you are past seven weeks pregnant, seeing no heartbeat may be a sign of miscarriage.1 By this point a transvaginal ultrasound should be able to reliable detect a heartbeat or lack thereof. But there are many exceptions to the "heartbeat by seven weeks" rule.

Is it safe to have an ultrasound every week first trimester? ›

There's no evidence that scans are harmful to pregnant women or their babies, if used according to the guidelines (NHS 2021, SCoR/BMUS 2020a).

Is 6 weeks too early for an ultrasound? ›

It's typically not until a woman is six weeks pregnant that any part of the fetus is visible, which allows the doctor to determine whether a pregnancy will be viable. Because of this, it's important that women understand what information their ultrasound can and cannot provide at certain times during their pregnancy.

Why do you have to wait 8 weeks for ultrasound? ›

There's a lot which can be seen at 8 weeks gestation, including the baby's heartbeat and early development. It will also be possible to work out the baby's due date, which is why an 8 week ultrasound is often called a dating scan.

Which week is best for first scan? ›

Routine pregnancy ultrasound scans are offered in:
  • the first trimester at 11-13 weeks.
  • the second trimester at 18-20 weeks.
Nov 10, 2022

Should I get a scan at 7 or 8 weeks? ›

We recommend having your early scan at 7 weeks because you'll be able to see your baby on the screen. We'll also be able to perform more health checks at this stage because we can check the heart. The earliest scan that's going to look something like a baby would be at around 9 weeks.

How common is miscarriage at 12 week scan? ›

How Common is a Missed Miscarriage at 12 week scan? Miscarriages happen in roughly 10-25% of confirmed pregnancies. Missed miscarriages only occur in about 1-5% of pregnancies, so they are not exceptionally common.

Why do doctors wait until 12 weeks for ultrasound? ›

The 12-week ultrasound helps your doctor make sure you're getting the appropriate care for the rest of your pregnancy. It also provides them with: an estimated due date. information about how many babies to expect.

What are the signs of Down syndrome on 12 week ultrasound? ›

Babies with Down's syndrome are more likely to have a small or absent nose bone, with a flat profile. They often have leakage across the tricuspid valve and reverse flow in the ductus venosus. So adding in these additional markers will take the average detection rate of the standard technique of 80% up to 95%.

What not to do at 6 weeks pregnant? ›

Do not eat raw or undercooked meat, chicken, or fish (such as sushi or raw oysters). Do not eat raw eggs or foods that contain raw eggs, such as Caesar dressing. Do not eat raw sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts. Do not eat soft cheeses and unpasteurized dairy foods, such as Brie, feta, or blue cheese.

How am I 6 weeks pregnant if I conceived 4 weeks ago? ›

The reason doctors still use the last menstrual cycle as a benchmark is because it is difficult to know exactly when the sperm fertilized the egg. So when doctors say a woman is six weeks pregnant, it typically means the embryo started developing about four weeks ago.

Why is my belly so big at 6 weeks pregnant? ›

However, bloating in early pregnancy is usually caused by rising levels of progesterone — not by the size of the baby. The hormone makes the muscles in your womb relax, preparing it to expand along with your growing baby.

What is the most common week to miscarry? ›

Most miscarriages occur before the 12th week of pregnancy. Signs and symptoms of a miscarriage might include: Vaginal spotting or bleeding.

At what week is miscarriage unlikely? ›

The first trimester of pregnancy is considered weeks 0 to 13. About 80 percent of miscarriages happen in the first trimester. Losses after this time occur less often. March of Dimes reports a miscarriage rate of only 1 to 5 percent in the second trimester.

Can early ultrasound cause birth defects? ›

Ultrasounds have been used to monitor pregnancy for decades, and there's no meaningful evidence that they can cause harm to a developing fetus.

How common is miscarriage after first ultrasound? ›

Meanwhile, the risk of miscarriage after a fetal heartbeat is detected is only around 4%, dropping to 1.5% after 8 weeks and 0.9% by 9 weeks. 1 What these varying statistics indicate is that if you know you are pregnant, the chances of you carrying your baby to term are good.

How common is miscarriage after ultrasound? ›

Here's the good news: According to a study, after an ultrasound confirms baby's heartbeat at eight weeks, the risk of miscarriage is about 3 percent.

What does 5 week ultrasound look like? ›

At this stage, the only things you'll likely see are the yolk sac and the gestational sac. It's possible that the sonographer might be able to point out the embryo, which at this stage is likely a tiny white curled object. Surrounding the embryo is the yolk sac, which will look like a small white circle.

What are the signs of non viable pregnancy? ›

You may have symptoms of early pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, nausea and vomiting. But when the embryo stops growing and hormone levels decrease, pregnancy symptoms subside. At this point, minor abdominal cramping and light spotting or bleeding are possible. An ultrasound will show an empty gestational sac.

Should I be worried if there is no yolk sac at 6 weeks? ›

Often, seeing no yolk sac (or a yolk sac that is smaller than normal or otherwise misshapen) at 6 weeks can be a sign of miscarriage. Unfortunately, you'll most likely have to wait until a follow-up ultrasound to be sure.

At what HCG level is heartbeat visible? ›

Every patient with an HCG level greater than 10,800 mIU/ml had a visible embryo with a heartbeat.

What are the signs of a healthy pregnancy at 7 weeks? ›

You're probably feeling tired. Your breasts might feel sore and enlarged, and you may need to pee more often than usual. You may start to feel sick or tired, or have other minor pregnancy problems for a few weeks around this time.

How high is the risk of miscarriage at 7 weeks? ›

The risk of miscarriage drops significantly as pregnancy progresses. In one study, researchers found a miscarriage rate of 9.4 percent at 6 weeks of pregnancy, 4.2 percent at 7 weeks, 1.5 percent at 8 weeks, 0.5 percent at 9 weeks and 0.7 percent at 10 weeks.

Is 7 weeks too early to tell family you're pregnant? ›

Pregnant women are often advised to wait until they pass the 12-week mark, when the risk of miscarriage drops sharply, to announce their pregnancies to the world.

What are the first signs of a missed miscarriage? ›

It's common to have no symptoms with a missed miscarriage. You may also notice: brownish discharge.
What are the symptoms of a missed abortion?
  • vaginal bleeding.
  • abdominal cramps or pain.
  • discharge of fluid or tissue.
  • lack of pregnancy symptoms.

Can you have a miscarriage without bleeding? ›

Can you have a miscarriage without bleeding? Most of the time, bleeding is the first sign of a miscarriage. However, a miscarriage can occur without bleeding, or other symptoms may appear first. Many women prefer the term pregnancy loss to miscarriage.

Will your body miscarry if there is no heartbeat? ›

It's also called a missed abortion or silent miscarriage—and for good reason: You won't experience common miscarriage symptoms, like cramping or bleeding. Instead, you'll find out you've had a miscarriage once you lie down for an ultrasound and there's no fetal heartbeat.

Can too many ultrasounds harm the baby? ›

“A review of over 50 medical studies shows that ultrasounds do not pose any danger to moms or fetuses. They do not cause birth defects, childhood developmental or intellectual problems, or cancer.”

Can you ultrasound too much in pregnancy? ›

“Pregnant women can take a sigh of relief knowing that there is no evidence showing that ultrasound is harmful to a growing baby at any stage of pregnancy.”

What are the risks of first trimester ultrasound? ›

Discomfort, pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, and infection are possible complications associated with first-trimester ultrasonography.

Is an early ultrasound worth it? ›

A scan before six weeks can help doctors to see whether the pregnancy is inside or outside your womb (uterus), but little else. If you just want a scan for reassurance that you're having a healthy pregnancy, do try to wait a bit longer. Although waiting can be hard, a later scan will give you more information.

How early is too early for first ultrasound? ›

Although ultrasounds can be performed as early as 5 weeks of pregnancy, doctors typically recommend that you schedule your first ultrasound when you are between 6-8 weeks pregnant.

Is it normal not to see baby at 5 weeks? ›

At 5 weeks into pregnancy things are so small there is very little to see on ultrasound. Even at 6 weeks it can be difficult to see an embryo with some people.

Is 8 weeks too late for first ultrasound? ›

First-trimester ultrasound

An early ultrasound is often a routine part of prenatal care between 6 and 9 weeks of pregnancy, though it can happen anytime before week 14. But a first-trimester ultrasound isn't standard practice because it's still too early for your practitioner to see your baby in detail.

Is it worth having a scan at 8 weeks? ›

Your 8-week appointment may include a transvaginal or abdominal ultrasound, which is low risk but can offer the first glimpse at your baby. However, it's important to know that when it's this early in the pregnancy, you might not be able to identify a heartbeat or see your fetus just yet.

Why do doctors not see you until 8 weeks pregnant? ›

"For a normal pregnancy that doesn't have any risk factors, usually I will do an ultrasound between seven and eight weeks," Dr. Courtney Barnes, an OB/GYN with MU Health Care, said. "At that point you can tell that there's one baby, the baby is in the right spot, and the baby has a heartbeat.

Is 7 weeks too early for a scan? ›

It's common for women to have a 7 week ultrasound and for many, it's their first real look at their baby. Sometimes also called a dating scan, an ultrasound at 7 weeks helps to confirm baby's presence and development, but it can also help to rule out pregnancy complications.

What week is best for early pregnancy scan? ›

We recommend having your early scan at 7 weeks because you'll be able to see your baby on the screen. We'll also be able to perform more health checks at this stage because we can check the heart. The earliest scan that's going to look something like a baby would be at around 9 weeks.

Is 7 weeks too early for a dating scan? ›

A dating scan is an ultrasound scan done between 8 and 14 weeks of pregnancy to help estimate your baby's due date. In early pregnancy, most babies of the same gestational age are about the same size.

Is no heartbeat at 7 weeks normal? ›

If you are past seven weeks pregnant, seeing no heartbeat may be a sign of miscarriage.1 By this point a transvaginal ultrasound should be able to reliable detect a heartbeat or lack thereof. But there are many exceptions to the "heartbeat by seven weeks" rule.

Why do you have to wait until 8 weeks for an ultrasound? ›

In early pregnancy (6 to 8 weeks)

At this time, the embryo is tiny, and your uterus and fallopian tubes would be closer to your birth canal than to your abdomen, so a transvaginal ultrasound is clearest. This allows your provider to look for cardiac activity, forecast a due date, and check for multiples.

Is a 6 week scan too early? ›

Peek A Baby offers Early Pregnancy Reassurance Scans from 6 weeks of pregnancy. In viable pregnancies, trans-vaginal (internal) scans should be able to detect a gestation sac from 5 weeks of pregnancy. A yolk sac can be seen at 5 1/2 weeks gestation.

Can you hear a heartbeat at 5 weeks? ›

A fetal heartbeat may first be detected by a vaginal ultrasound as early as 5 1/2 to 6 weeks after gestation. That's when a fetal pole, the first visible sign of a developing embryo, can sometimes be seen. But between 6 1/2 to 7 weeks after gestation, a heartbeat can be better assessed.

Is it normal to see nothing on ultrasound at 5 weeks? ›

This is because it's too early to see the baby's limbs and organs before this point. In fact, at 5 weeks, you'll likely only see the yolk sac and the gestational sac — and many not even that. What you don't see may unnecessarily worry you, but it's perfectly normal.

When do most miscarriages occur? ›

Most miscarriages - 8 out of 10 (80 percent) - happen in the first trimester before the 12th week of pregnancy. Miscarriage in the second trimester (between 13 and 19 weeks) happens in 1 to 5 in 100 (1 to 5 percent) pregnancies. Pregnancy loss that happens after 20 weeks is called stillbirth.


1. Why First Trimester Scan Necessary | An Early Pregnancy Scan | Dr Swapna Chekuri | HFC
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2. [English] - Why is An Early Pregnancy Scan Important
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3. When should a pregnant woman have her first doctor visit and ultrasound?
4. What can be seen on ultrasound in early pregnancy?
5. Early Pregnancy Scans - Dating and Viability
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6. Early Pregnancy Scan
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