While most pregnant women have their first scan at around 12 weeks, some of us are asked to have an 'early' scan or choose to have one done privately (when we asked mums on our Facebook community if they'd paid for a private scan, 24% of 236 mums said they had).According to midwife Ann Richley, your GP or midwife might suggest an early pregnancy scan if you've: These sorts of scans are usually done at an Early Pregnancy Unit on the NHS.Very early scans are likely to be internal (trans)vaginal scans, but can sometimes be an abdominal scan - like the dating scan you have around 12 weeks.The Original Lea77 shares her positive early internal vaginal scan experience.However, if you are experiencing the signs of an ectopic pregnancy with severe pains in your side, you may be given a very early scan at 5 weeks.At this stage, it will be possible to see a small pregnancy sac, but if it's an ectopic pregnancy, the sac will sadly be empty and there'll be no heartbeat.
If you’re able to wait until about 7 weeks then we will be able to see the heartbeat very clearly.” As purplebabes on our forum confirms, “I had a scan at 6 weeks which showed a heartbeat.
This allows you to see things much more clearly.” Different sonographers will take different approaches, though, so be ready for different options.
Remember that there is no pressure to do this - any scan that you have is your choice.
However, in most cases if it’s reassurance you’re looking for, you’ll need to pay for a scan privately.” Your baby is developing really quickly during these early weeks and so your baby will look very different each week in an early scan: 6 weeks - Your baby will just be visible and measure around 0.5mm. 7 weeks (see pic above) – Your baby will be about 1cm with a heartbeat of about 160 beats per minute.
8 weeks - Your baby is growing at about 1mm a day, and will now measure around 1.6cm.
Unlike an abdominal scan, you don't need a full bladder, so you'll be asked to go for a pee before the scan begins.