Early Pregnancy Scans

Offering Early Pregnancy Scans in London

We can offer you an early pregnancy scan here at our private clinic in London that will help to determine the viability and due date of your newest arrival. These can be performed as early as six weeks into your pregnancy (approximately two weeks after a positive pregnancy test)

The NHS offers 2 routine pregnancy scans, between 11-14 weeks and 18-21 weeks. You may also have these initial scans privately, before you have even scheduled your scans with the NHS. Depending on your health and the development of your pregnancy, you may be offered more than 2 scans.

Read on to learn more about our pregnancy scans, how much they will cost, and what will happen when you need a referral for your second scan, or contact us right away if you would like to speak to a consultant or coordinator. We’re always happy to answer questions before you book an appointment.

Pregnancy Scans at Our Private Clinic

At GENNET City Fertility, we will be happy to offer patients an early pregnancy scan up to the 12-week mark. This will be carried out by one of our specialists using an ultrasound, which is also sometimes called a sonogram. A professional, safe and discreet environment will always be provided during these scans.

Depending on your gestational age (how far along you are in your pregnancy), the ultrasound may be performed trans-vaginally or trans-abdominally. 

The first of these scans is called a viability scan, and is used to determine foetal heartbeat. It is performed vaginally, meaning that an ultrasound probe will be introduced to the patient’s vagina during the procedure. This probe gives off high-frequency sound waves that cannot ordinarily be heard, but will create “echoes” or images that can then be seen on a monitor.

The second scan, which is called the dating scan, will be performed between 8-11 weeks. This scan will help us to measure the length of the baby, as well as give you an estimated due date for their arrival.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a screening test which can be performed as early as 10 weeks onwards, and is offered privately. It looks at the baby’s DNA in the mother’s bloodstream to assess risks for chromosomal problems or aneuploidies (an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell). 

For this procedure, a blood test will be performed on the patient and the sample taken will be used to help identify conditions such as Downs Syndrome, Edwards’ Syndrome, and Patau’s Syndrome.

You may also receive a trans-abdominal scan that can tell us more about foetal development. Following this scan, you may undergo NIPT.

What Happens After 12 Weeks?

After you have passed the 12 week mark (around 3 months into your pregnancy), we will refer you either to the NHS or privately to Dr Fred Ushakov, a Fetal Medicine specialist with over 30 years of experience working in three different countries. At his private clinic, City Ultrasound in London, UK, he can help patients past the early stages of pregnancy to complete their scans using the latest equipment and with the individual care and understanding needed for this time in a person’s life.

City Ultrasound is advanced diagnostic pregnancy centre in the heart of London. Equipped with the latest ultrasound technology and with over 30 years of experience in fetal medicine they specialist in the early detection of anomalies and offer a comprehensive diagnostic scan package at any stage of your pregnancy.

Dr Fred Ushakov has over 30 years of experience working in various Fetal Medicine Units and Ob Gyn Departments in three different countries. From the beginning of his career, Fred saw the immense potential in the use of ultrasound in obstetrics and perinatology and has decided to dedicate his professional life to mastering ultrasound techniques and researching new methods. Dr Ushakov is currently working at the UCLH Fetal Medicine Unit where he was recognised by his colleagues as the most skilled ultrasound operator. Dr Ushakov’s passion for ultrasound led to the establishment of the London School of Ultrasound, where he has lectured doctors and sonographers from over 100 countries. Dr Ushakov’s excellence and contribution to the field has been recognised as he has been appointed as the Ambassador of ISUOG (The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology). Fred is also founder and organiser of unique Early Fetal Scan (EF scan) Conference. The EF Scan Conference is an annual scientific event, which aims to raise professional awareness to early diagnosis and management of different fetal anomalies.

Routine scans with the NHS will be performed as a combination test. This involves a nuchal translucency scan (an NT scan, which measures the size of the clear tissue at the back of your baby’s neck) and a blood test. These both check for indicators of Down Syndrome, or other chromosomal problems. You may also choose to have this combined test carried out privately.

The types of pregnancy scans available from Dr Ushakov include:

  • 3D/4D scans
  • Anomaly scans
  • Baby development scans
  • Baby position scans
  • Cardiac scans (fetal echocardiology)
  • Cervical scans
  • Doppler scans (measuring blood flow)
  • Early baby scans
  • Gender scans (you can find out the sex of your baby from 13 weeks)
  • Growth scans
  • Nuchal scans (evaluation of nuchal translucency)
  • Reassurance scans 
  • Scans upon request
  • Transvaginal scans
  • Viability scans
  • Wellbeing scans

How You May Benefit from an Early Pregnancy Scan

Having an early pregnancy scan performed allows us to check on a number of factors related to your baby’s health, and lets you know a little bit more about them before they are born. We’ve listed what we can find out (and relay to you) with an early pregnancy scan below:

  • The size of the baby
  • The baby’s heartbeat
  • The viability of the foetus
  • How many babies there are (whether there are twins, triplets, etc.)
  • If any twins or triplets are identical or non-identical
  • Some physical characteristics and potential conditions
  • The location of the pregnancy (if it is an ectopic pregnancy)

We understand that you may not wish to think about the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, but it is important to know about the procedures and processes in place which may help to diagnose one. If you do have an early pregnancy scan and it’s found that the pregnancy is in the right location, this will almost exclude the chances of an ectopic pregnancy. 

We must note that GENNET City Fertility doesn’t manage ectopic pregnancies. In case of any suspicion of an ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy of unknown location (PUL), patients will instead be referred to a hospital. 

Advice on Ectopic Pregnancies

It’s also important to remember that ectopic pregnancies can be life-threatening if they are not found and treated. As such, you should always keep an eye on your own personal wellbeing and take note of any symptoms you are experiencing. 

At first, the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may be similar to those of an ordinary pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, missed periods, or experiencing an upset stomach. Other signs may also include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Mild abdominal pain
  • Mild pelvic pain
  • Mild cramping on one side of the pelvis

If you are experiencing any abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain, we strongly suggest that you report it to your obstetrician-gynaecologist (OB-GYN), General Practitioner (GP) or report to an Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) or any other trusted healthcare professional right away. If these symptoms are a sign of an ectopic pregnancy then they will only become more serious as the pregnancy develops. 

You should go to your local hospital right away if any of the aforementioned symptoms have developed into the following:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Sudden, severe pain in your abdomen
  • Sudden, severe pain in your pelvis
  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting

These symptoms may be signs of a ruptured fallopian tube, which may cause internal bleeding. This will need to be treated immediately if it is the case.

How Much Will a Private Pregnancy Scan Cost?

If you are early in your pregnancy and you’d like to book your first scan with us, this will cost £150. Our London-based clinic will also accept this money through a number of different payment methods, including debit and credit cards (American Express up to a limit of £750 per invoice), and bank transfers. 

Contact Us to Book an Appointment

If you are beginning that next step on your journey towards parenthood and you’d like our assistance with the help of an internal ultrasound scan, please don’t hesitate to contact us and book an appointment today. We will be glad to help you monitor your baby’s health in the first stages of your pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Early Can You Have a Pregnancy Scan?

It’s possible to have an early pregnancy scan from 6 weeks to 11 weeks and 5 days into your pregnancy. The dates can be calculated from the date of your last period.

Can You Eat Before a Pregnancy Scan?

You will be able to eat and drink as you normally would before a pregnancy scan, though you should have an empty bladder before the trans-vaginal scan.

Can a Scan Show Early Pregnancy?

The earliest an ultrasound scan can identify a viable pregnancy inside the uterine cavity is approximately two weeks after a positive pregnancy test. 

Can I Have an MRI Scan While Pregnant?

Normally, MRI scans are not recommended for pregnant women, especially in the early stages of pregnancy (the first trimester). This is because even though they’re generally thought to be safe after this time, it isn’t known whether or not the strong magnetic fields used in an MRI machine will have long-term effects on a developing baby.

Can I Bring Somebody to My Scan?

If you would feel more comfortable bringing someone along with you to your scan, you will be able to do this without any trouble. One other person is allowed in the room with you during the procedure.

Can I Have a Scan Before Seeing My Midwife?

You may have a scan before seeing your midwife. When you get in touch with us, we’ll be happy to arrange a date for your scan that suits you best.

Can Ultrasound Scans be Harmful for the Baby?

There are no known risks to mothers or babies that are associated with ultrasound scans. As such, you will be able to book your scan and have it performed safely, without any added risks to you or your baby.

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