When you find out you are pregnant, one of the many scans you may undergo will be a viability scan. Sometimes called a dating scan, this is performed in the early stages of pregnancy to determine, among many things, the viability of your pregnancy. Carnegie Imaging for Women offers world-class obstetrical and gynecologic ultrasounds to patients in Manhattan and the surrounding tri-state area. Our impressive team of doctors and medical professionals are here to support you through your pregnancy and beyond.
What Is a Viability Scan?
A viability scan is the first scan to be performed during pregnancy and is usually done at around the 6-10 week mark of gestation. Some of the objectives of a dating scan include:
- Pregnancy location: Make sure the pregnancy is in the uterus and not outside (ectopic).
- Viability: Checking for fetal heart activity.
- Number: Determine the number of embryos that are present.
- Dating: Determine how far along you are and provide an estimated due date.
- Examine the fetus for early signs of abnormalities.
- Evaluate the maternal anatomy (uterus, ovaries).
- Assess the early placenta and examine for any abnormalities such as hematomas.
Anyone who finds out they are pregnant will receive a viability scan, but it is especially important to have one done if you have experienced a past miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy during your first trimester. It is also highly recommended if you are experiencing bleeding, spotting, or pain early on in your pregnancy.
How is a Viability Scan Performed?
A viability scan is performed by placing the scanning probe on your abdomen (transabdominal), followed by a transvaginal ultrasound and it is not unlike other ultrasounds you will receive throughout your pregnancy.
What Steps Follow a Viability Scan?
Following a viability or dating scan, the next ultrasound you will usually undergo is called a Nuchal Translucency Scan. This scan is performed around the 12 week mark of pregnancy and assesses the risk of the baby having congenital conditions such as Down syndrome. This is a highly accurate scan, especially when combined with other first trimester screenings like a blood test to determine if your baby is at a higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities. Carnegie Imaging for Women offers first trimester Down syndrome screening and other scans to ensure the health and safety of your baby.
What if the Results are Unexpected?
Viability scans are important because they may determine whether or not you have a high risk pregnancy from the very beginning. Unfortunately, this can mean that you might receive results that show:
- Your pregnancy is ectopic (embryo implanted in the fallopian tube)
- The embryo has no heartbeat.
- The amniotic sac is seen, but there is no embryo. If this is the case, you will come back in 7-14 days to have another scan to determine viability.
In the event that you receive the above news, Carnegie Imaging for Women will help determine the safest next step. We are here to put your safety and comfort first.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are currently in the early stages of pregnancy, or planning to get pregnant, Carnegie Imaging for Women is here to care for you and your growing family. Fill out our online contact form to get in touch with our team or schedule a consultation appointment online to get started today.
Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!