Scanning In Pregnancy

Frequency and Safety

Ultrasound has been used for many years with no proven harmful effects. When attending an Early Pregnancy Unit, almost all women will have a scan at some point. The type and frequency of the scans will depend upon how far pregnant you are and what the initial scan shows. The scan will enable the staff caring for you to decide on the best management of care for you and your pregnancy. You should be guided by the staff caring for you as to how many scans are required. Understandably you will be anxious about your pregnancy but more scans or changing the frequency of the scans will not help the diagnosis to be reached sooner.

As you are most likely to be in the early stages of pregnancy, you almost certainly will be offered a vaginal scan as this enables the best images to be obtained. Vaginal scans are usually performed if you are less than eight weeks pregnant after your last menstrual period. The vaginal probe is a different shape to the type you may have encountered if you have been scanned in pregnancy before. It is long and narrow to enable it to rest in the vagina comfortably, thus giving the best images of your womb. It does not go into your cervix (neck of the womb), and will not cause a miscarriage. This may be the best way to see the pregnancy clearly in these early stages.

If you have strong reasons for NOT wanting a vaginal scan, these can be discussed with staff at the time.