What is a dating scan?
Dating scan is the first ultrasound scan that is done during the pregnancy period. It is performed to find out the gestational age of pregnancy. It also reveals other factors related to pregnancy such as the number of fetus and gestation sac and the size of the fetus which helps in determining the gestational age. Moreover, it also helps detect the presence of heartbeat and helps in identifying any unusual features in the developing baby.
A dating scan helps in determining the due date by accurately calculating the date of conception. In some cases, dating scan may not be recommended if the mother is sure about her date of conception or last menstrual period.
It is usually offered in the first trimester between 10 weeks to 13 weeks. At times, doctors or midwives recommend it in the 6th week if there is any kind of complication with your pregnancy like bleeding or a history of miscarriage.
How is the dating scan done?
The dating scan is conducted by a sonographer or a midwife. Usually, the scans are made from the abdomen. The sonographer puts a gel on your abdomen and moves a hand-held device called as the transducer over your skin. The sound waves that bounce back make an image of the fetus. If you are overweight at the time of the scan, a vaginal scan is recommended. The sonographer tells you about it before doing it.
Are there any precautions I should know about?
For an abdominal scan, one should drink plenty of water so that her bladder is full. It pushes the womb up and gives a clear image of the baby. For a vaginal scan, a full bladder is not needed.
Before going for the scan, doctor’s recommendation is a must and one should understand the procedure completely before the scan so that you don’t feel uncomfortable during the scan.
Dating scan is special for every woman as it gives them the first glimpse of the life that is growing inside them.
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