Dating & Early Pregnancy Assessment

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Your doctor may request this scan in order to accurately date the pregnancy or to monitor the progress of the pregnancy.

This scan may be indicated if you have had bleeding, pain, or are unsure of your last menstrual period. It may also be performed to monitor patients with a history of previous miscarriage or other reproductive health issues.

Scanning at this early stage of pregnancy enables the timely diagnosis of conditions such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and multiple pregnancy. Dating of pregnancy is also necessary in the planning of prenatal screening tests, including Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) and Nuchal Translucency and serum screening.

It will be important that you can provide any details about your menstrual cycle, last menstrual period, blood tests and any previous examinations that you may have had to the sonographer performing the scan. These details will assist in the interpretation and reporting of the findings.

The first part of this examination is usually performed by using the transabdominal probe on your abdomen. For this type of scan a full bladder assists in visualisation of the uterus and pregnancy. Please present with a comfortably full bladder.

Sometimes a transvaginal examination is also recommended. The sonographer performing the examination will discuss this with you and the reasons why it is recommended. You have the option to decline this type of examination if that is your preference. It is not necessary to have a full bladder for this type of examination and you will be given the opportunity to empty your bladder beforehand so that you can be comfortable during the procedure. Transvaginal examination is commonly used to assess early pregnancy and bleeding – it is a safe procedure and does not cause bleeding or miscarriage.