Picture dating scan

Picture dating scan

Having a scan in pregnancy is usually a happy event, but be aware that ultrasound scans may detect some serious abnormalities, so you should be prepared for that information.

See What if a screening test shows a possible problem?

Not all units offer an early scan if all is going well in this pregnancy, though.

Ask your GP if you want the reassurance of an early scan. The scan's main purpose is to work out accurately how many weeks pregnant you are and estimate your due date.

You can ask your midwife or doctor before the scan if this is the case. Find out more about what happens during a pregnancy ultrasound scan.

You may also be offered an early scan if you've had a previous miscarriage.

At around seven weeks of pregnancy, it’s reasonably common for women to have their first ultrasound.

This can be for many reasons but the most common is to confirm pregnancy and to check that the embryo is viable and “everything’s ok”.

The person performing the scan is called a sonographer.

You may need to have a full bladder for this scan, as this makes the ultrasound image clearer.

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You may have calculated the length of your pregnancy from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).

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