Congratulations, you’re expecting!
The viability scan is the first early pregnancy scan in your journey. It is sometimes referred to as the “dating scan”, however our viability ultrasound scan findings provide much more information about the fetus than just dating the pregnancy.
If you are planning to have NIPT, we offer free pre-NIPT counselling with our private viability scans in London. There are different NIPT options and making the right choice can be very confusing. We will explain how different non-invasive prenatal tests work, and you can choose which test is right for you.
At 8 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus is just as big as a grape and has started to develop the majority of its organs. The main purpose of the early dating scan is to confirm the heartbeat as well as:
Check for single/multiple pregnancies*,
Date the pregnancy: estimation of gestational age (pregnancy age in weeks after your first positive pregnancy test) and the EDD (estimated date of delivery),
Check main structures of the gestational sac, which include the baby (the embryo), the yolk sac, and the future placenta,
Examine for any early-stage pregnancy abnormalities.
Provide the most updated information about NIPT (harmony, panorama, vistara and invitae test options)
* For multiple pregnancies (i.e. twins, triplets, etc.) it is extremely important to know the type of placentation (do the babies share the same placenta or do they have separate placentas?). This is important for the prediction of certain complications.
We use an advanced pregnancy ultrasound scanner with unique high-resolution transabdominal or transvaginal probes. The best time for this vaginal scan is week 7 of pregnancy.
The benefits of our viability scan include:
We do not need you to have a full bladder for the scan,
In most cases, the technology we use allows the viability scan to be performed transabdominally (the transducer is placed over your belly). You can read about what to expect during the ultrasound scan here.
If you are interested in having a better look on your baby and its surroundings, we will offer you an internal scan (transvaginal) by our high-resolution 3D probe. This technology works as a microscope and in majority of the cases allows us to get an incredibly detailed view of your tiny baby, yolk sac and other structures (like on the image on the right).
We will offer you free pre-NIPT counselling, and based on corrected by viability scan dates of your pregnancy, we can book your NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) appointment at the earliest and most convenient date for you (from 9-10 weeks).
You have a question? We have an answer.
The nuchal translucency (NT) / dating scan is the first pregnancy scan offered by NHS hospitals. The NT scan is performed relatively late, only at 11-13 weeks, when you are already three months into your pregnancy.
The early viability scan will:
- Reassure you that your pregnancy develops well, and your baby’s heartbeat is clearly visible,
- Let you know how many babies you will have, and be able to tell the precise date of the pregnancy and estimated delivery,
- Allow you to book a NIPT as early as possible (10+0 weeks),
- Allow you to create a detailed schedule of your follow-up scans and other antenatal appointments and tests, which means you can schedule in your other activities (such as business trips or holidays) around this.
London Pregnancy Clinic clinicians are leaders in the field of fetal medicine – all the scans are performed by fully qualified and GMC registered doctors.
We have a unique and individual approach in that we do not ‘leave any stone unturned’ – we provide the most comprehensive assessment of the development of your baby as possible at each stage of pregnancy.
We use an advanced ultrasound scanner with unique high-resolution probes.
We do not need you to have a full bladder for the scans,
In most cases, the technology we use allows the viability scan to be performed transabdominally (the transducer is placed over your belly),
You can choose to do a transvaginal (internal) scan in order to get high quality ‘microscopic’ views of your tiny baby and to confirm normal development of the pregnancy.
Anyway, we do not only date the pregnancy, but also examine how it is developing,
We will explain the next steps, scans and tests recommended throughout your pregnancy,
We will perform free pre-NIPT counselling (in the case if you are interested in NIPT screening),
You will get digital and hard copies of your images and clips (only digital) and digital and hard copies of your scan report,
Referrals arranged as required.
The short answer is yes.
The long answer is that early ultrasound scans between 4 weeks and 5 weeks of pregnancy are it’s generally too early to be informative. At week 4, the embryo is extremely small, about the size of a poppy seed, and will appear as a speckle on the ultrasound scan even with our advanced technology. By week 5 the gestational sac and the yolk sac have both developed significantly and can be seen on the ultrasound screen. However, the most important early fetal development, ‘the heartbeat’, which helps us confirm the pregnancy, won’t occur till around 6 weeks. Therefore, while a pregnancy test can confirm pregnancy, an ultrasound at 4 weeks may not provide much useful information and we recommend waiting till week 6/7 of pregnancy for your first private scan.
We offer free pre-NIPT counselling with all our viability scans. We perform various NIPT tests, which have different advantages, and price ranges. We know that making the right NIPT choice can be very confusing. We will explain how different non-invasive prenatal tests work, and you can choose which test is right for you, having enough time for your informed decision-making.
The optimal gestational age for the scan is from 7 weeks.
Early viability scan: we are sometimes able to offer an early viability scan from around 6 weeks for patients who have painless spotting, light bleeding, or brown discharge from the vagina to exclude possible miscarriage.
Low abdominal pains together with bleeding can be associated with ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is potentially a life-threatening complication for the mother. If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as pain or bleeding, please contact your nearest A&E unit and avoid coming in for a scan.
Good question, they don’t teach that at schools! Pregnancy weeks are counted from the first day of your last menstrual period date. You can use our easy-to-use pregnancy calculator to get an estimate. At your viability scan we will also provide you with an estimated due date based on the size of the embryo.
About 3% of all the babies will have some structural anomalies, or chromosomal or genetic syndromes. Understandably many mothers will be very happy to exclude those conditions as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, before 10 weeks the baby has not finished its primary body formation and development and is still considered an embryo. Therefore, it is not possible to exclude anomalies before 10 weeks.
However, from 10 weeks the baby is considered a fetus, meaning it is fully formed and resembles a tiny human. This means that our ultrasound scanners, which are specially designed to obtain high-resolution images, can be used to examine the fully developed structures of the fetus, such as the heart. Our 10 week scan can be performed as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy; however we will have to use a specifically-designed high resolution transvaginal probe to obtain these images. Please note that the 10 week scan is a much more comprehensive examination of the fetus and has different pricing to the viability scan.
Ectopic pregnancy is a condition when the gestational egg implants outside of the cavity of the womb. Ectopic pregnancy is potentially a life-threatening complication for the mother. If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as vaginal bleeding and pain, please contact your nearest A&E unit and avoid coming in for a scan.
Before 10 weeks the baby has not finished its primary development and is still considered an embryo. Therefore, it is not possible to screen for any congenital anomalies.
However, from 10 weeks the baby is considered a fetus, meaning many of its organs have started forming and it begins to resemble a tiny human. This means that our ultrasound scanners, which are especially designed to obtain high-resolution images, can be used to examine the development of structures such as the heart, extremities and spine. The 10-week scan, can be done at 10-11 weeks and is the earliest anomaly scan out there aimed to screen for 10 structural anomalies. We also recommend taking an NIPT (non-invasive prenatal test) together with your 10-week scan. NIPT is a cf-DNA blood test and is currently the most accurate screening test (>99% accuracy) for screening for Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.
Yes, of course. We use Tricefy which is a secure cloud system to upload images and videos from your scan to be viewed before you even leave the scanning room! You will also receive a hard and soft copy of your detailed ultrasound report as well as some high-quality colour printouts for you to take home with you on the day!
Tricefy also allows you to download the images and videos from the scan to share with your loved ones via message/social media.