It can also help to diagnose abnormalities or problems, help determine the age of the pregnancy and subsequent due date as well as showing the position of the placenta in relation to the birth canal.The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (in their 2000 document on Ultrasound Screening), recommend an Early Pregnancy Scan, undertaken before 15 weeks, which can combine the functions of the Early Viability Scan, Nuchal Translucency Scan and dating scan. These two scans are the ‘minimum’ number of scans required during pregnancy and are offered by ¾ of ultrasound units in the UK.All information contained in and produced by the Med Calc 3000 system is provided for educational purposes only.

For all Obstetrics scans, no special preparation is needed, although it is best to wear loose clothing that can easily be lifted or removed in order to expose your abdomen.

You will lie on your back on an examination couch and the transducer moved back and forth across your stomach in order to gain the best possible image of the fetus.

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The scan can confirm the number of babies in the uterus, the embryo can be observed and measured by about five and a half weeks and a heartbeat usually detected by 6 weeks.

Scans at this stage in pregnancy are reassuring for women experiencing bleeding, pain or who have had previous miscarriages.

Ultrasound scans offer an alternative method of estimating gestational age.