We at MUMS understand that the first few months of pregnancy can be quite an anxious time for many women with various concerns as to whether the pregnancy is developing normally or that it may result in a miscarriage or even an ectopic pregnancy. An Early Pregnancy Scan sometimes also called a Viability Scan or Dating Scan provides reassurance in this very early stage of your pregnancy. A pregnancy can be seen from as early as 6 weeks from the first day of your last period LMP and not the date of conception. If you have had any bleeding or pain or any other symptoms then this scan will accurately confirm viability. Sometimes it is requested by a doctor or midwife to confirm that your pregnancy is healthy in this case your scan is often called a viability scan and to calculate the date when your baby is due usually referred to as a dating scan.
Methods for Estimating the Due Date - ACOG
Pettker, MD; James D. Goldberg, MD; and Yasser Y. This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances as of the date issued and is subject to change. The information should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Accurate dating of pregnancy is important to improve outcomes and is a research and public health imperative.
WHO recommendation on early ultrasound in pregnancy
As its name suggests, the main purpose of a dating scan is to check how advanced the pregnancy is and therefore when the baby is due. Measuring the baby can be more accurate than dating by the last menstrual period. It is also an opportunity to check the baby is alive and developing as expected, and check for twins.
Diagnostic ultrasound examination is employed in a variety of specific circumstances during pregnancy, such as where there are concerns about fetal growth and after clinical complications. However, because adverse outcomes may also occur in pregnancies without clear risk factors, assumptions have been made that antenatal ultrasound examination in all pregnancies will prove beneficial by enabling earlier detection of problems that may not be apparent 3 — such as multiple pregnancies, IUGR, congenital anomalies, malpresentation and placenta praevia — and by allowing accurate gestational age estimation, leading to timely and appropriate management of pregnancy complications. The ANC recommendations are intended to inform the development of relevant health-care policies and clinical protocols. These recommendations were developed in accordance with the methods described in the WHO handbook for guideline development 4.