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Early pregnancy

In fertility, there may be a requirement to undertake an early ultrasound scan. This may be required following patients undertaking treatment at UHB. This scan is usually performed as early as six to seven weeks (first trimester). This involves a trans-vaginal ultrasound examination.

In most cases, the baby/embryo is very small in size to detect via abdominal scan and may need a vaginal scan to be seen clearly and provide more accurate results. The vaginal examination will be like previous internal scans which include inserting a scan probe inside the vagina. There is no associated increased risk with internal vaginal scan this early into your pregnancy.


Reasons why your Doctor/ Clinical Nurse Specialist has requested a 7 week scan:

  • to confirm a fetal heart
  • to confirm an intrauterine pregnancy (rule out an ectopic pregnancy)
  • to check for number of foetuses growing (single baby/twins/triplets)
  • to check surrounding reproductive organs
  • to calculate the gestation of the pregnancy

General health and wellbeing

  • Work/mobility, carry on as normal.
  • Nutrition/hydration, you are advised to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid soft cheeses/pate/liver/unpasteurised foods. 
  • You are fine to continue having sexual relations.


Please speak to your GP regarding any medication you have been prescribed or are planning to take

What if I have concerning symptoms?

If there is any bleeding/spotting or unusual pain, you will be referred to the Early Pregnancy Unit for scans and assessment. This may include further investigations including scans and blood tests. You will be monitored by the Early pregnancy team and will not require further scans via Fertility services unless advised. The Early Pregnancy Unit is available to all patients between six-16 weeks.

What can be seen?

The baby/embryo is too small to detect organs at this stage.

Anatomical developments measurable and seen at a 7 week scan:

  • yolk sac
  • gestational sac
  • fetal pole/Crown Rump Length (CRL)
  • fetal heartbeat

What happens next?

You will be provided with the information following your scan. The sonographer will explain your diagnostic results to explain the scan findings. This will be your last scan with UHB Fertility services and have been discharged to your GP/ community midwife. Please inform your GP of the pregnancy and treatment you have had with our services. You will be seen as routine by the NHS for your booking appointment with the midwife at 10 weeks. You will also be seen at the Antenatal clinic and for a 12 week scan (dating scan). You will be discharged into routine NHS hospital care.

If you become pregnant, please notify your general practitioner (GP) and midwife as soon as possible.

If you have undergone any treatment and become pregnant with our fertility services, you will be advised on the next steps by the practitioner at your appointment.

Further information can be found online.

Last reviewed: 06 March 2024