Dating scan too early

If your cycles are irregular, this can also make it difficult to date your pregnancy – this is why a pregnancy dating scan is essential.Ultrasounds performed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are generally accurate within 3-5 days, with the most accurate time being between 8-11 weeks gestation.Ultrasound dating scans are also useful to check the site of pregnancy, i.e.exclude ectopic pregnancies if you have experienced problems in previous pregnancies.All too often, a scan at 6 weeks shows very little or nothing, even in a perfectly developing pregnancy, whereas waiting a week or 10 days will make the findings much clearer.Most pregnant women are referred for their first routine (or booking) ultrasound scan somewhere between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.From 11 or 12 weeks, including at the routine booking-in scan, it is more common to have a trans-abdominal scan.The person doing the scan spreads a special gel on your lower abdomen (below your belly button and above the line of pubic hair).

This can come as a considerable shock and it may take time before you can take this information in.

To prepare for the scan, it’s best to attend your appointment with a full bladder.

The accuracy of any ultrasound examination depends on the skill of the sonographer and the quality of the equipment.

You may also have to make some difficult decisions about how to manage the miscarriage process. You may be referred for an early scan because of vaginal bleeding or spotting, or possibly because you have had problems in a previous pregnancy.

The best time to have a scan is from about 7 weeks’ gestation when it should be possible to see the baby’s heartbeat in a normal pregnancy.

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