Dating Scan: When It Is Done And What To Expect 

Congratulations! Your pregnancy test came back positive, and you are going to be a mum a few months. the next months of your pregnancy will be marked with antenatal care, tests and if you make time, classes. It is normal to be eager to find out everything about your baby before their delivery. You may want to know the gender and whether it could be a multiple pregnancy

Luckily, it is possible to get an estimate of your estimated date of delivery (EDD) on our Due Date Calculator. A dating scan will, however, provide a more accurate estimate, with an additional details. Read on to understand dating scans, when they are done and what to expect. 

Why Do You Need A Dating Scan?

A dating scan gives you the opportunity to get the first glimpse of your developing baby while you are pregnant. Additionally, the dating scan will be used to predict your due date in case you are not sure of the date of conception. Though it is not compulsory, there are situations where your doctor may advise you to get one. 

Ideally, the scan is done between the 10th and 14th week of pregnancy. However, you may have the scan between the sixth and tenth week in case of: 

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Have a history of previous pregnancy complications. 

The Procedure Of The Dating Scan

The dating scan is done through an ultrasound by a sonographer who ideally is a radiographer or trained midwife. There are two ways the date scan is performed 

  • Vaginal scan – This is done to mothers who are below 10 weeks gestation. The procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes, where images are captured from an insert through the vagina.
  • Abdominal scan – This scan is done if you are above ten weeks. Here,  the sonographer applies gel on your belly and uses a transducer rub against the gel, capturing the images in the process.  

What you Learn During The Dating Scan

This will perhaps  be the first time you will get to see your baby. For this reason, there are some special features that your sonographer will look out for to give you more information about the baby. Some of these are such as:

  • Finding out how far along you are and your due date
  • The position of your baby in the uterus
  • The number of children that you are expecting 
  • Check for normal development of the baby such as the heart rate
  • Check for any movement 

Preparing for a Date Scan

When going for the dating scan, you will be advised to take a lot of drinks and avoid visiting the toilet to ensure that your bladder is full during the scan. This helps provide better imaging. 

You will, however, be required to empty your bladder if you are having a vaginal scan. Consult your clinic before to know other preparations that you need to do before going in for the dating scan.


#Please note that development differs from one child to another
#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: bounty, babycentre, pregnancybirthbaby, womensimaging, healthtalk, healthtalk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *