Early pregnancy scan: brief description

This document explains the early pregnancy ultrasound scan.


Information about the first trimester scan: what is the scan for?

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


This publication sets out the early pregnancy ultrasound scan:

  • purpose of the scan
  • what will happen in the scan room
  • procedures for after the scan
  • what happens if a problem is found or suspected
  • what will happen if the scan cannot be completed
Published 1 January 2010
Last updated 9 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated and rebranded leaflet artwork.
  2. First published.