Pregnancy is an incredible journey for parents. In the early stages, a crucial check is the early viability scan. This is a medical test that uses sound waves to make pictures of the inside of the womb. It usually happens in the first few months of pregnancy, usually between the 6th and 9th week.
What Happens During the Scan:
- Getting Ready: Before the scan, you might be told to have a full bladder. This helps get clearer pictures because the full bladder pushes up the uterus and makes it easier to see. You may need to drink water and not use the bathroom before the appointment.
- During the Scan: You’ll lie down on a table, and they’ll put a jelly-like substance on your lower belly. A person called a sonographer will use a device that sends and receives sound waves. They’ll gently move it over your belly.
- Seeing Images: The device sends sound waves into your body. These waves bounce back as echoes and create real-time pictures on a screen. You’ll see your uterus, the gestational sac, and maybe the baby, depending on how far along you are.
- Measuring and Checking: The sonographer will measure the baby’s size and use it to estimate how old the baby is. A big moment during this scan is finding the baby’s heartbeat. If there’s no heartbeat, it could be a concern.
- Checking for Viability: The sonographer will also check if the pregnancy is viable. This means the baby is growing normally and has a good chance of being healthy. If the baby is viable, you’ll likely see and hear the heartbeat, which is reassuring.
- Taking Notes: The sonographer will make a record of their findings, including measurements, pictures, and any worries. You might even get printouts of the ultrasound pictures to keep.
When to Schedule the Scan:
The timing of this scan is important to get accurate information. Here are some situations where it’s a good idea to schedule this scan:
- Uncertain Menstrual Cycle: If your periods aren’t regular, it can be hard to know when you became pregnant. An early viability scan can help figure out the date.
- Past Pregnancy Problems: If you’ve had issues like ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages before, your doctor might recommend an early scan for monitoring and reassurance.
- Fertility Treatments: If you’ve had fertility treatments like IVF, they often schedule an early scan to check the pregnancy’s location and viability.
- Health Worries: If you have medical conditions like diabetes or thyroid problems, or if you’re taking medications that might affect the pregnancy, an early scan can track how things are going.
- No Pregnancy Symptoms: Some women don’t have many pregnancy symptoms. An early viability scan can give peace of mind by confirming a healthy pregnancy.
- Older Age: If you’re 35 or older, you might have a higher risk of certain pregnancy issues. In this case, early monitoring could be recommended.
- Personal Choice: Some parents just want to see their baby’s first pictures and hear the heartbeat early on. That’s totally fine.
An early viability scan is a big step in your pregnancy journey. It provides important info about your baby’s health and progress. Knowing what to expect during the scan and when to schedule it can help you make informed choices and ease worries.
Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’ve faced challenges before, this scan lets you connect with your growing baby and celebrate becoming a parent. Always talk to your doctor to figure out the best time for your early viability scan based on your situation.