Most women will have their first routine ultrasound scan at about 12 weeks, but it is possible to arrange an earlier private pregnancy scan at a clinic in London. We should be able to see the amniotic sac in your womb from as early as four or five weeks, although the embryo itself will be too small for you to see. By seven weeks, we can usually detect the heartbeat and see your baby on the screen.
Why Have an Early Scan?
You might want to arrange an early ultrasound in London if you are feeling anxious about the pregnancy, you’ve been experiencing bleeding or other symptoms, or there is a risk of ectopic pregnancy. The scan can confirm and date the pregnancy, check for any problems, and provide reassurance.
Having an Early Ultrasound
If you do decide to have an early ultrasound at the London clinic, the procedure may be a little bit different than for your later scans. In order to get a clear picture in early pregnancy, it may be necessary to perform a translational scan rather than an abdominal ultrasound. This means that a specially designed ultrasound probe will be carefully inserted into your vagina. It can feel a little uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t hurt at all. The probe will be able to get clearer images of your womb and the baby than would be possible with an external scan at this stage in the pregnancy.
The scan pictures will look very different from the images you will see in later scans. In the early weeks of pregnancy, your baby will appear as just a tiny dot on the screen, surrounded by the dark amniotic sac. At seven weeks the embryo is only as big as a blueberry, but we may already be able to pick up the heartbeat during the ultrasound. We can check that your baby is developing as expected, look for any issues with your health, and estimate how long you have been pregnant.