EARLY PREGNANCY SCANS
An early pregnancy scan is a 2D ultrasound examination which is performed in order to establish the gestational age of the pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Scans
Private 2D Ultrasound Scans Available From 8-14 Weeks
The first trimester can be an exciting but anxious time. Expectant parents often need to wait for up to 15 weeks before they get their first pregnancy scan in hospital and the reassurance that everything is fine with their baby. With our private early pregnancy ultrasound scans, you can get this reassurance as soon as 8 weeks gestation – so you can begin to enjoy your pregnancy with peace of mind.
What can I see at an Early Pregnancy Scan?
Our Early Pregnancy Scans reveal important information about your pregnancy, such as the gestational age of your pregnancy, the number of foetuses & gestational sacs, the presence of a heartbeat, and your baby’s size. The due date is estimated based on your baby’s measurements and the dates of your last menstrual period.
When can I have an Early Pregnancy Scan?
We perform our Early Pregnancy Scan between 8 and 14 weeks. The earlier this pregnancy scan is done, the more accurate it is at estimating your baby’s due date. Due Date Estimations made during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are generally within 3 – 5 days of accuracy.
When is the best time to have an Early Pregnancy Scan?
The most accurate time for the due date calculation is between 8 and 11 weeks pregnant. This is because your baby is growing so quickly that there is a big difference in size from week to week. Also, the baby cannot bend and twist very much yet, so the length of the body is fairly constant. However, the accuracy of the ultrasound examination is always dependent on the position of organs and internal bodily fluids.
What can I expect at an Early Pregnancy Scan?
When you arrive at UltraScan you will be greeted by our receptionists. Your temperature will be taken contact-free at the temperature station at reception. Our receptionist will give you a short form to fill out to collect some basic information like your name, contact details and date of birth. Once this is complete, your sonographer will call you into the scan room to begin your ultrasound scan.
Should I have a full bladder for an Early Pregnancy Scan?
It’s helpful to have a moderately full bladder for an Early Pregnancy Scan. However, keep in mind that the sonographer will need to press your abdomen with the ultrasound transducer, which could be uncomfortable with a very full bladder.
Can I see if I'm having twins at an Early Pregnancy Scan?
Yes, we will be able to see if you are expecting twins (or triplets, or more!) during your Early Pregnancy Scan. During the scan, we can see how many fetuses you’re carrying, as well as how many placentas and gestational sacs there are.
Each Early Pregnancy Baby Scan Includes...
The price of our early pregnancy scan (dating scan) is €99.
Why Get An Early Pregnancy Scan?
At UltraScan, we preform our Early Pregnancy ultrasound scans from 8 weeks gestation. In this scan, we look at how many foetuses and gestational sacs are present, we also confirm your baby’s heartbeat and estimate your due date with impressive accuracy.
For this reason, we often refer to these scans as “Dating Scans” as we determine how far along you are and give you an estimated due date. Before 11 weeks, we estimate your due date within 3-5 days of accuracy. You also receive printed pictures of your little one, and the priceless reassurance that they are doing well.
The Anxious Wait
An Early Pregnancy Scan can be extremely settling in the angst-ridden first weeks of pregnancy. Expectant parents often seek out our services when they are dissatisfied with the date of their first public hospital scan. Public maternity hospitals can schedule your first scan as late as 21 weeks, meaning you’re more than halfway through your pregnancy by the time you get that reassurance which gives you the confidence to share your news. If you have a history of fertility issues or miscarriages, an early pregnancy scan may help to ease your worries and allow you to enjoy your pregnancy more.
Research conducted by Liverpool Women’s Hospital amongst women with a history of recurrent miscarriages has shown that if a heartbeat can be confirmed at 8 weeks, the risk of miscarriage is just 2%. If the heartbeat can be confirmed at 10 weeks, the risk of miscarriage is just 0.6%. These numbers are even more positive amongst women without a history of miscarriage. So, it’s easy to see how reassuring it can be to hear your baby’s heartbeat in the first trimester.
What can I see at an Early Scan?
Our Early Pregnancy Scans are performed only in 2D and there is no option to use 3D imaging as your baby does not have enough fat under their skin for us to achieve a 3D image. Depending on which week you have your scan, the baby will look very different. Your baby is growing rapidly, at about 1mm per day! At eight weeks, your baby will measure about 1.6cm with a heart rate of about 160 beats-per-minute! You’ll be able to make out their head, body and developing limbs. At nine weeks, your baby is almost fully formed, making it easier to make out their little limbs.
At ten weeks, your baby measures around 3.8cm and you might see them make slight movements.
Having an Early Pregnancy Scan at UltraScan
You will be allowed 2 adult guests attend appointments or 1 adult and 1 child only at specified child friendly times, although you may want to bring just your partner, birthing partner or parent.
Unlike our Gender Determination Scans or 3D/4D Scans, the Early Pregnancy Scan is not as interesting to watch (sorry tiny babies!). The aim of this scan is to check on the tiny guy or gal, see how they’re doing, how they’re developing and when they’ll be gracing us with their presence. If you want an amazing family experience at UltraScan, it’s best to wait until 24 weeks onwards, when you can book in for a 3D/4D ultrasound scan.
Most frequently asked questions and answers about first pregnancy scans:
How much is an Early Pregnancy Scan?
An Early Pregnancy Scan with UltraScan Ireland costs €99. See above for details of what is included in this price.
When can I have it done?
The Early Pregnancy Scan is recommended from 8-weeks to 14-weeks pregnant.
How is it done?
Our highly-trained sonographers use ultrasound equipment and a scanning device that is placed on the mother’s stomach. Sound waves are produced by the equipment, then the software translates these sound waves into an image.
What if I am late for my scan?
Clients should try arrive 5 minutes before appointments to fill out forms. We are extremely busy and unfortunately if someone misses their allotted time we will not be able to see them and you will have to rebook a new appointment.
What can be seen during an early pregnancy scan?
At 8-weeks gestational age we can detect the baby’s heartbeat through a trans-abdominal examination. We can get a 2-dimensional picture of the baby at this stage. 3D ultrasound imaging is not achievable at this stage of pregnancy because the baby is not developed enough yet for the 3D scan to be effective.
How accurate is the estimated due date?
The earlier the pregnancy scan is done- the better the accuracy of the due date.
Pregnancy scans performed between 8 and 12-weeks give the most accurate due date estimations.
The estimated due date is usually between 3-5 days of accuracy.
Dating Scans performed after 18 weeks pregnant can be inaccurate by as much as two weeks. This is influenced by how much your baby is able to twist and turn, the more moving your baby is doing – the less accurate the measurements.
What if I can’t see anything during my early scan?
How much you see of your baby during the 3D/4D ultrasound will really depend on the way the baby is positioned. If your baby is facing outwards and there is sufficient fluid surrounding their little face, then you will be in luck.
If at the beginning of the scan your baby is facing away from the transducer, our sonographer may suggest you have a cold drink, talk to your baby or gently massage your abdomen.
These strategies may help to encourage your baby to move into another position and allow us to get the clear images you were hoping for.
What happens after my early scan?
With UltraScan you can have your scan images and videos sent to you via Whatsapp or email. This enables you to share them easily and download them for safekeeping.
You will also receive 5 glossy black & white small scan photo prints and your two favourite scan pictures professionally printed in 6”x4” photos.
Can I bring anyone with me to the scan?
Two other people can attend your appointment with you.