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A dating scan is performed around week 8 of pregnancy but can be done as early as 5 weeks.

It is used to confirm due dates, assess the viability of the pregnancy, check the number of embryos, provide maternal reassurance, and to rule out ectopic pregnancy (fetus developing outside of the womb).

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It may not be easy for you to make out what you are seeing on the screen in the early scans.

The images below will give you an idea of what can be seen and what they look for at each week; of the first trimester.

Transabdominal ultrasound (TAU) and also the transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) are valuable diagnostic tools in obstetrics and gynecology.

Transabdominal ultrasound will provide a panoramic view of the abdomen and pelvis and is noninvasive, whereas transvaginal ultrasound provides a more limited pelvic view and requires insertion of a probe into the vagina.

The presence of a yolk sac confirms the diagnosis of an intrauterine pregnancy and excludes ectopic pregnancy, except in rare cases of simultaneous intrauterine and extrauterine gestations.

The yolk sac is first visible at 5 weeks and it is always present by 5 weeks and 4 days.

A blood test is also done in conjunction with the ultrasound scan which is arranged through the patient’s Lead Maternity Carer (LMC).

Early fetal anatomy can also be assessed during this scan.

Around week 20 of pregnancy, an anatomy scan is performed to rule out abnormalities that can be visualised with ultrasound imaging such as cleft lip, spina bifida, heart defects, and many other abnormalities.

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