This is an ultrasound examination that is usually carried out vaginally but can be done abdominally at around 7 weeks onwards. It aims to determine the number of fetuses present and whether the pregnancy is progressing normally inside the uterus. This scan is useful for women who are experiencing pain or bleeding in the pregnancy and those who have had previous miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.

Sometimes called a Viability Scan or Dating Scan this may be the first private pregnancy scan you will have. It may also be useful for women who do not know the date of their last menstrual period.

Fetal viability scanFetal Viability Scan (6-10 weeks)

(First trimester)


Gestational age is based on the weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period only if you have a regular 28 day cycle and have had three normal cycles prior to the pregnancy. If you have irregular cycles then please speak to us about how many weeks you may be prior to booking the scan. If your last menstrual period is not known, we normally ask you to come in 3 weeks after your first positive pregnancy test. This is to ensure that the scan can be as conclusive as possible and reduce worry on your behalf if the scan does not show what you were expecting. In early pregnancy it may be necessary to perform an internal scan (trans-vaginal scan) in order to obtain clearer images of the fetus. Or you can use a digital pregnancy testing kit and let us know the results from that.

What will I see at this scan?

At 6 weeks:

The embryo should be seen and the fetal heartbeat if the dates are certain

At 7 weeks: Fetal heart action should be present

At 8 weeks: Fetal form should be clear

If the scan is performed too early to see your baby clearly a repeat scan in 10 – 14 days is sometimes needed to confirm that your pregnancy is progressing satisfactorily. Dating your pregnancy at this early stage will help you better organise your scans and your ongoing pregnancy care.

The Viability Scan performed includes ultrasound scan, report and a collection of 2D black and white prints.