Safe early scans during pregnancy

Safe early scans during pregnancy
Early scans in pregnancy can give you valuable information at what can be a worrying time – especially if you are experiencing spotting or bleeding and are concerned you might be having a miscarriage.

Sometimes the wait until your NHS booking scan can seem to go on forever and a private early scan can answer those questions that are causing you anxiety.

Early pregnancy scans (sometimes called viability scans) are available from 6 weeks of your pregnancy (approximately two weeks after your missed period), and use ultrasound to detect a heartbeat and measure your baby to check their growth matches your dates. They give you a snapshot of your baby’s health and development at that moment in time.

Are early ultrasound scans safe?

All pregnant women and their partners worry about doing anything that may harm their baby – whether it’s drinking alcohol or eating blue cheese or pate – but unlike these hazards, ultrasound technology doesn’t pose any known risks to your baby at any stage of pregnancy.

Ultrasound waves are sound waves at the extremes of the acoustic spectrum well above the human hearing threshold which are used to make up a detailed picture of a baby in your womb.

Be reassured that ultrasound technology is an extremely useful diagnostic tool which has been around for 50 years and so far, no adverse effects have been found. In fact, experts argue that pregnancy scans have made birth safer by identifying potential growth problems and medical conditions such as a low-lying placenta or heart defects in babies.

Reassuring research findings

The Report of the Independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation, said the available evidence did not suggest the lower levels of ultrasound used for diagnostic purposes had effects on several outcomes. These included perinatal mortality (the technical term for stillbirths and deaths in the first week of life) and childhood cancers.

Whilst it's true some studies have pointed to an association between ultrasound scanning and an increased prevalence of left-handedness, crucially experts reviewing the evidence said the studies were 'weak'. The authors of one study concluded that no cause and effect relationship had been established.

More research into the safety of ultrasound is ongoing, but the fact that no problems have so far emerged over many decades of use is very reassuring.

You're in safe hands

Ultrasound pregnancy scans remains the safest way of checking the health of an unborn baby without exposing mother and child to the hazards of radiation. Having said that, at very high doses ultrasound is capable of damaging biological tissue through heating up tissue. However, it's important to bear in mind that the levels used in diagnostic ultrasound, (including antenatal scans) are much lower and do not heat up tissue beyond the normal physiological range. All ultrasound equipment also carries heat sensors which monitor temperatures for added safety and sonographers follow strict professional guidelines on exposure.

All sonographers employed by Ultrasound Direct, a private ultrasound provider, are fully qualified and trained in obstetric ultrasound and their priority is always your baby’s health and the underlying medical purpose of a scan. Baby scans are not performed unnecessarily, and your baby’s welfare and wellbeing will always be their paramount priority.

High levels of satisfaction from patients

Ultrasound Direct has high levels of patient satisfaction and positive testimonies from clients collected by TrustPilot reviews, illustrating just how useful and immensely reassuring they found their experiences of early scans.

Ultrasound Direct use TrustPilot to capture client comments. TrustPilot was chosen to perform customer feedback due to the integrity in which it captures verified client reviews and presents actual client good and bad comments.

Here is a small selection of some the latest comments from satisfied customers for Ultrasound Direct’s pregnancy scans

Fantastic experience 
“Fantastic experience, very professional staff, reassuring and explained everything in such detail.” Jodie Joesbury-Clarke

Amazing service 
“Lovely lady who offered a professional and warm service. Worth it for peace of mind.” by Sarah Amazing “Amazing, such great staff and really helped me out as this is my first baby! Thank you :) ” Lily Wilcock 

Was very nervous
“Was very nervous to go to our 8-week scan but our sonographer made us feel very at ease. She found baby and reassured us. She measured baby and showed us where his/her head, bottom, arm and leg buds are. She also printed some images for us to keep. I would definitely recommend an 8-week scan as it’s that limbo stage between finding out you’re pregnant and waiting for the 12-week scan. Mr and Mrs Stephens

Lovely early scan 
“Lovely early scan. We booked for a bit of peace of mind for a scan at 7 weeks. The receptionist was lovely and offered us tea and coffee. We felt completely at ease during the scan and felt she explained everything really well regarding what she was doing and what we were seeing. We will definitely be going back for our gender scan.” Amy