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Early scan - is it worth it?

(50 Posts)
afrikat Fri 08-Feb-13 08:59:18

I am 7+5 (I think) and after a couple of my good friends finding out at the 12 week scan the foetus wasnt viable I am considering paying for an early scan. I just can't stand the thought of going through another month of thinking I have a growing baby inside me only to find out it has been dead for weeks.

I saw a stat somewhere that said if it was alive at 8 weeks the chances of it dying drop dramatically - does anyone know if this is true? Do you think it's worth getting the scan for some reassurance (or to at least get bad news over with) or should I just be patient and hope everything is ok? Has anyone had any bad experiences with early scans?

Any opinions welcome!

Thumbwitch Fri 08-Feb-13 13:29:58

I had an early scan at 6+4 with DS2, because I'd had 3 MCs, one of them actually started at the early viability scan sad. It was the first time since DS1 that I'd seen a heartbeat which was massively reassuring - I'd had scans for all MCs and no heartbeat seen (obviously).
It also helped date-wise - as I'd successfully managed to blank when my periods came to avoid the stress of day-counting while TTC - I honestly couldn't remember when my LMP had started blush

Anyway. It's up to you - but bear in mind that in reality it won't make any difference to the outcome whether or not you have the early scan.

FoofFighter Fri 08-Feb-13 14:07:59

Got any links to back up that claim babyiwantabump?

I do feel you are (needlessly perhaps?) going to be worrying a lot of folk on here who have had early scans -for medical reasons - and are feeling very vulnerable about their developing babies.

FoofFighter Fri 08-Feb-13 14:09:11

And by links I do mean actual statistics/studies/research, not just some bunkum.

OhGood Fri 08-Feb-13 14:11:03

Private scan at 9 weeks. Perfect baby. Sonographer said chances of miscarrying were very low. Really helped me to relax into pregnancy, as had m/c before. But then at 12-week scan, showed abnormalities - cyst on abdomen. Was even more horrific because I was feeling so confident.

So things can change, but I'm unlucky, and I would go for the early scan again, definitely definitely.

Good luck and congratulations!

Midori1999 Fri 08-Feb-13 14:11:45

I specifically asked if early scanning could increase the risk of miscarriage and was told an unequivocal no, it does not.

GinAndSlimlinePlease Fri 08-Feb-13 14:18:46

I asked the same question at the early pregnancy unit, and was told there wasn't enough evidence to say it was definitely safe.

I went and had the scan because I was bleeding and cramping and needed to know. To me that outweighed any slight risk.

belsize77 Fri 08-Feb-13 14:28:26

I was obsessed with this myself as I had loads of scans in my last pregnancy due to a suspected problem. This study was the only significant reference I could find. It seems that whilst extensive scanning may not have been proved to be 100% safe there is no significant evidence of any specific risks, none of the numerous consultants I saw seemed even slightly worried about the risk. I don't count left handedness as a risk myself.

BabyOuch Fri 08-Feb-13 15:42:10

Hi Afrikat I would defo say yes. I am on my first pregnancy and had a private scan at 8+3. It was wonderful, I knew baby was in right place etc and heart beat was strong. I am due to have 12 wk scan on Weds. It really does put your mind at ease and was well worth the money.

There is no medical research that shows scans (or the number of them) are harmful to you or the baby. Some friends that have had complications and for medical research purposes have been scanned numerous times throughout multiple pregnancies and each time all ok and have been reassured by top consultants that there is no harm to the baby or themselves.
Congratulations and go for it!!

afrikat Fri 08-Feb-13 16:01:07

I have paid my deposit now so it's definitely happening smile tbf the scan costs about the same amount as a night out boozing which we won't be doing for a while!

I am not concerned at all about the safety tbh - there is no evidence it isn't safe and a few anecdotal comments don't really worry me

Have still got to wait 5 days for the appointment (I am soo impatient, want it done now!!) but I think it is the right thing for me. Thanks for all your comments!

PurpleStorm Fri 08-Feb-13 20:57:08

Hope your scan goes well.

Personally, I wouldn't have an early scan unless I had worrying symptoms - but that's partly because having an early scan wouldn't change the outcome if I did miscarry, and partly in case I'd got my dates wrong and was getting a scan before baby had grown enough for the heartbeat to be seen.

I don't have any worries about the safety of the standard 2-D scans you get on the NHS.

Christelle2207 Fri 08-Feb-13 21:31:37

I paid at 8 weeks and it was great, definitely read somewhere that if hb at 8 weeks, risk of mc less than 1% (of course that will not include other issues with baby).

Unless you are very sure of your dates though just be prepared that if you're more than a few days out you might not see hb yet, and that's not necessarily a bad thing but will cause worry. That's why I had mine at 8, not 7 wks. Best of luck x

PurplePoppySeed Sat 09-Feb-13 09:19:14

I had an early scan last week at the EPU as I'd previously had a MMC, whilst seeing the hb was good, I agree with some of the comments above, I'm not really that much more positive now than I was a week before the scan as one of the main comments was that it was small and probably only 6 weeks, so rather than reassuring me that I've got past the 8 week mark, I'm worrying that I'm still not there!

They want be back next week, so I'm lucky and tbh I'd probably still pay for a private one as I had a bit of reassurance on the day.

Good luck africak, we're all different, fingers crossed its exactly what you need.

It is honestly up to you whether you want to pay for an early scan - if it gives you reassurance at that particular time and helps you to cope with any anxieties the do it.

I went for an early scan last weekend and was told there was no heartbeat - I was devastated and had to prepare myself for miscarrying. I went to my EPU to have it confirmed and was told there is a sac, yolk and blood supply but I have to now wait 2 weeks for a re-scan to see whether things are progressing as they should and the wait is awful hmm

If there is any confusion over your dates then I wouldn't do it as the devastation you feel when expecting to see a heartbeat and hearing there isn't one is awful and ultimately won't change the outcome.

Good luck with the scan smile x

photographerlady Sat 09-Feb-13 11:22:49

I had a 8 wk scan and found it to be a life changer for me. After fertility treatment was amazing to see the little heart beating

afrikat Sat 09-Feb-13 14:26:52

Am pretty sure of dates as periods are regular so hopefully I am passed the 8 week point and there will be something to see. Not sure if its going to end up being the best decision or not but I am happy we are doing it and hoping for the best smile

Rockchick1984 Sat 09-Feb-13 16:56:04

Afrikat I've just booked my scan for 8weeks too, been meaning to do it for a couple of days so finally arranged it smile

Dogsmom Sat 09-Feb-13 18:14:46

I was toying with the idea in my early pregnancy but after reading posts on here it seems that even if you see a heartbeat then go on to have symptoms of a MC there's nothing they do anyway other than tell you to rest. It took me 3 years to get pg and I was so paranoid until the 12 week scan but kept trusting that as I'd had no symptoms that the odds were hugely in my favour.

Cost was another issue, we could only afford one private scan and decided to wait and have a 16 week gender scan instead.

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/ultrasoundrodgers.asp

I read this there is a few more on midwifery today not trying to worry anyone i have m/c before and was considering an early scan this put me off.

noblegiraffe Sun 10-Feb-13 00:26:20

Hmm, what a shoddy article, someone needs to tell midwiferytoday that correlation does not imply causation. An increase in ultrasound scans and an increase in autism diagnoses does not mean the two are connected. The study done on the mouse also does not reflect what happens in a pregnancy scan either so I would be dubious about that causing concern too.

Falcon there are many more papers showing the gaps in that paper. It is very misleading and if a pregnant woman is worried, overly anxious or stressed having a scan far outweighs any other possible risks

Bodicea Sun 10-Feb-13 09:38:51

Right been reading this with interest. I am a sonographer and want to get a few things straight with people.
Early scans are not a risk as long as they do not use colour Doppler and are not for an extended period of time. The risk comes with heat increasing if you are focusing on something for and extended period of time. Responsible sonographer s do not use colour Doppler before the second trimester - in fact not really till 20 weeks. 3d/4d scans are also associated with increased heat and you should not have one before 20 weeks. I personally wouldn't have 4d for more than a couple of minutes - I don't like the way some people pay for a full hour etc.. There Are no legal limits with this - it's all about being sensible, risk versus benefit, which is which you need a fully qualified sonographer who had studied it extensively not any old health professional who picks up a probe and thinks they know how to scan.
Early scans are quick and safe and some studies show that scan in early pregnancy can reduce risk of mc as it reduces stress for the woman-this is v tenuous I think but I guess it's down to the individual. If you want a scan go for it.
By the way in the US they have a completely different attitude as it is all about the money - they also X-ray everyone for anything and everything and are quite irresponsible in my opinion not taking Into account risk versus benefit.

Bodicea Sun 10-Feb-13 09:46:30

Also they are always trying to pin stuff on u/s. there was a study a while back that tried to pin left handedness on u/s - didn't take into account that left handedness became acceptable and they stopped forcing kids hands behind their backs at roughly the same time u/s started becoming more prevalent!

PurpleStorm Sun 10-Feb-13 14:00:26

That's reassuring, Bodicea - I had tons of scans with DS because of various pregnancy problems - all deemed necessary by GPs, midwives or consultants - and was getting very worried about him after reading Falcon's link!

I dont not put the link up to piss anyone off it was purely because I looked into having a scan and came across it. I think if you need/feel more comfortable having more scans then thats your right.

If I had any symtoms ie bleeding or lack of fetal movement I would without a doubt have a scan. It just put me off having extra scans at a private place!!

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