An early pregnancy scan is an ultrasound test that is usually not available on the NHS to all pregnant women. A pregnancy test can provide important information about pregnancy and help to monitor, anticipate, and even prevent potential complications.
One of the most important ultrasound scans in pregnancy is an early pregnancy ultrasound scan because it confirms the pregnancy and verifies that the fetus is growing as expected. After a couple of weeks, you can repeat this to observe your baby’s typical development and to check if the heartbeat is audible and regular.
Why is it important to do this?
A pregnancy scan is important for several reasons.
- The NHS does not offer it as a routine test unless problems arise, such as pain, vaginal bleeding, or if you’ve had a miscarriage in the past.
- Early pregnancy ultrasound scans should be a regular part of every pregnancy, according to private ultrasound experts. Here are a few reasons why.
- An early scan confirms your pregnancy. It will indicate if you are pregnant regularly or if you are pregnant ectopically. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg is fertilized in the Fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
- It can determine whether you are expecting a single pregnancy, twins, or even triplets. Vitally, it detects the regular heartbeat of the fetus. A sonographer can calculate the conception date based on the size of the fetus and confirm your delivery date accordingly. In irregular periods, this method of calculating your due date is even more accurate than counting on your last period.
- Pregnancies often end during the first trimester, despite how sad it sounds. Monitoring and regular ultrasound screenings during the first trimester can help prevent issues in the first trimester. There is no other test as reliable as an ultrasound scan for monitoring a pregnancy at such an early stage.
How soon can it be done?
A pregnancy scan can be performed as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, or six weeks after your last period date, to confirm your pregnancy and to make sure your baby is healthy. During the 14th week, a pregnancy scan can be repeated.
A prenatal scan performed before the 6th week is not recommended, as the fetus could not have developed enough to have a heartbeat, so the results could be misleading.
What is a prenatal scan?
There are two ways to perform an early pregnancy scan.
1. Abdominal scan
It is the most commonly used abdominal scan. During this procedure, a sonographer rubs some gel onto your tummy and then slides a hand-held device called a transducer over to send sound waves through your womb and confirm your pregnancy.
The scan is more effective if you have a full bladder prior to it since liquid enables better sound transmission. Drink 3 to 4 glasses of water about an hour before your appointment and avoid visiting the restroom. Even if it is slightly uncomfortable, it will ensure the best screening results.
2. Transvaginal scan
The other procedure is usually done with early-stage pregnancies or when the regular tummy scan does not yield clear results. As opposed to using a probe on your tummy, the probe is lubricated with gel and inserted internally. The results are thus clearer and more reliable. In addition, this method is completely painless and safe for you and your baby.
Prenatal screening should be a regular part of all pregnancies, not just the difficult ones. An ultrasound can provide important information about many aspects of pregnancy, from a number of pregnancies to fetal development. It can show an audible heartbeat of the fetus, as well as predict and prevent future complications.
It is important to do it as early as possible, and then repeat it after some time, so that you can be sure your baby is developing as it should, allowing peace of mind and a joyous pregnancy, stage by stage.
To sum up
If you know the gender of your baby before it is born, it will influence the second half of your pregnancy, but it cannot influence its gender. While many parents prefer not to reveal the gender of their unborn child due to the excitement of the surprise and the excitement of expectancy, others cannot wait until the big day and prefer to bond with their baby by referring to it as ‘he’ or ‘she’.
Do not forget to enjoy your pregnancy, no matter what group you belong to. In addition, familiarize yourself with what scans to have and how to take care of yourself during pregnancy, and, of course, remember that giving a new life is the greatest gift in the world. Nothing can take it away from you.