The 8 week scan (dating scan)

Most women have their first pregnancy ultrasound scan between 7 and 10 weeks. It’s called the dating scan because the main purpose is to confirm how far along you are and work out your estimated due date. This is particularly important for women who have irregular periods or aren’t sure of their last period date.

An early ultrasound scan gives a very accurate estimate of how many weeks you are in the pregnancy. This is really important for the rest of your pregnancy care, because other tests and scans need to be done at the correct time. Usually, your GP will request a dating scan when you see them to confirm your pregnancy.

Other reasons you may be referred for an early pregnancy scan include:

  • To check for miscarriage and exclude an ectopic pregnancy in women who are experiencing pain or bleeding, or who have a history of early pregnancy problems.
  • To identify women having twins & triplets and to work out the type of twins/triplets (called the chorionicity).

We can usually perform the 8 week scan through your abdomen, as long as you arrive with a good amount of fluid in your bladder. Occasionally, if we are unable to get clear images through the abdomen we may need to do a trans-vaginal scan. A trans-vaginal scan is very safe; it allows us to see much more detail when the pregnancy is still very small. If we recommend a trans-vaginal scan, the doctor will explain the pros and cons and then you can choose how you would prefer to proceed.

We offer the full range of specialist obstetric ultrasound scans. Please click on the links below for more information :

dr Colin Walsh - Ultrasound scan