First Early Scan
This First Early Scan is to:
confirm viability of your early pregnancy
provide reassurance at the earliest possible stage
extended appointment for extra reassurance
Your First Early Scan
The First Early Scan, available from 6 to 8 weeks, is performed by one of our local sonographers with diagnostic scanning experience. It includes:
20-minute diagnostic appointment
The 20 minutes includes your arrival at reception, your scan, looking through your images where time allows and asking the sonographer any questions
same-day access to your images and report online
Our First Early Scan is designed to give you peace of mind and reassurance in the very early stages of pregnancy. We are not restricted by a short appointment time. This is to make sure you have time to ask any questions and so we can fully support you no matter the outcome of your scan.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain or bleeding, we recommend you consult your GP or an Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit in the first instance (or call 111 for advice). If you are still concerned, we are more than happy to see you.
For people over 16 years of age.
What you get with Ultrasound Direct
Preparing for your scan
drink one litre of clear fluid about one hour before your First Early Scan
don’t urinate before your appointment. This is to give us the best view of baby – we need a full bladder
we’ll need access to your abdomen, so please wear a two-piece outfit (like a top and trousers, or a top and a skirt)
if we are unable to see clearly enough over your abdomen, we may offer to do an internal (transvaginal) scan. Don’t worry - our experts will explain this fully at the time if it is needed
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that dates can sometimes be confusing and not always easy to work out, but we can only offer our Early Scan appointments from 6 weeks. This is because at 6 weeks we should be able to see your baby’s heartbeat (typically with an internal ultrasound scan). If you are less than 6 weeks pregnant, it is unlikely we will see a heartbeat. This will not only cause confusion and upset for you, but it could mean that we need to make a referral into the NHS. We recommend that you consider this when booking your Early Scan appointment.
On rare occasions we are unable to complete the primary purpose of a scan. For pregnancy scans, this may be due to your baby being in a difficult position, or something else such as overlying bowel gas which can obscure the ultrasound image. If this happens, we’ll book you a free of charge rescan so we can try again! The primary purpose is outlined on each scan webpage.
As healthcare professionals the health and wellbeing of you and your baby is our priority. There may be occasions when we need to discuss unexpected findings or bad news. If this happens during your scan, our team will ensure you receive the best possible compassionate care delivered to you as sensitively as possible.
We will also recommend your next steps. With your consent, we can contact the local early pregnancy unit or midwife on your behalf where possible. For general health scans, we can email our report and supporting images to your GP.
If after your scan you become concerned about the scan itself or your images and video clips, just call the clinic where you had your scan to discuss any concerns. If the clinic is closed, contact our head office who will be more than happy to help with your query.
Absolutely! Every scan at Ultrasound Direct is performed by a fully qualified sonographer whose primary interest is your health. All our sonographers are fully trained and appropriately qualified to perform ultrasound scans. Many of our team also work in the NHS locally.
We are also registered with the Care Quality Commission, an independent regulator, to make sure you always receive the highest possible standards of care.
All our sonographers who take blood for blood tests are phlebotomy trained.
If you are experiencing pain or bleeding, go directly to your local A&E or contact your midwife – do not book an ultrasound scan. This is because you may be experiencing a medical emergency and waiting for a scan will cause a potentially harmful delay.
Research suggests that there are no known risks to our method of ultrasound scanning. Scans are painless (although an internal scan may be slightly uncomfortable) and have no known side effects. Ultrasound scans do not use any form of ionising radiation, unlike other diagnostic imaging services such as x-rays.
During pregnancy scans, we can record your baby’s pulsebeat – this sounds very similar to the heartbeat, but is recorded in a different way. We record the pulsebeat by scanning blood flow through the umbilical cord, rather than recording the heartbeat by scanning the heart. This is because consistent ultrasound output in one place can have a heating effect, and we don’t want to put your baby at any level of risk. The fast-moving blood in the umbilical cord quickly disperses any potential heating effect.