Richmond Practice - Dating scan

Dating scan
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How many weeks pregnant am I?

To be pregnant and give birth to a child is usually a life-changing event. Many couples wish to confirm the pregnancy by having a scan and getting the necessary pregnancy tests done by a doctor or midwife.

You can have your first pregnancy scan, called the viability or dating scan, done privately when you are 6 to 11 weeks pregnant. The dates are calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period, not the day of conception.

The dating scan confirms the pregnancy, checks whether it is one child or more and calculates the date when the baby is due. It is especially important to have this done if bleeding or pain has occurred, or to make sure that the pregnancy is in your womb and not in your fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy.)

Many other tests/scans undertaken during pregnancy take place at a certain gestational age and knowing this accurately ensures that you do not miss the recommended timeframe. It is also important to know your due date accurately to avoid an unnecessary induction.

The dating scan can show the gestation sac (indicating a healthy pregnancy) and the embryo. The fetal heartbeat is normally visible from 6 weeks onwards. It is usually done vaginally to allow a clearer picture of the baby. This is neither painful nor uncomfortable and is the best way to obtain clear images in early pregnancy. Performing an early pregnancy scan this way is not harmful to you or your baby, nor will it increase your chances of having a miscarriage.

Consult your doctor if you:
  • have any doubts about the necessity of any scan
  • want to confirm the date and viability of the pregnancy via ultrasound early on
  • know you are pregnant and are bleeding or in pain
  • think you may be miscarrying.
At Elsbeth's Doctors our female consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists are also specialists in fetal maternal medicine and ultrasound. They offer early pregnancy scans or viability scans privately and undertake dating and all other scans and tests recommended in pregnancy as part of the comprehensive maternity packages available from the practice. We will give you a copy of the "photo" of baby as a print-out and/or on a USB stick.


Guaranteed 10 min response
(in business hours)

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