When you have a scan, it can be performed either internally or externally. Both kinds of scan work in the same way, using equipment that converts sound waves into pictures. Whether you have a transvaginal (internal) or abdominal (external) scan depends on what it’s for, and other factors.
In general, women have internal scans earlier in a pregnancy and external scans later on in a pregnancy.
The reason for this is that in an internal scan the probe is closer to the uterus and can produce better quality images. This means an internal scan can detect a developing foetus much earlier than an external scan, so an internal scan is often performed to detect a pregnancy in the very early stages.
Abdominal scans are performed once the foetus is large enough for abdominal scans to produce clear images. For instance, the Nuchal scan, performed at 12 to 14 weeks, is an external scan. From this point in a pregnancy, internal scans are usually only performed if an external scan can’t produce a clear image.
For both scan types, there’s very little preparation that you need to do. Typically, the only factor you need to worry about beforehand is whether your bladder is full or empty. If there are any other instructions, we’ll let you know before your appointment.
For an external scan your bladder usually needs to be full. The Birth Company recommends drinking some water on arrival.
For an internal scan it is best if your bladder is empty. You’ll be able to do this at The Birth Company, just before your scan.
In an external scan the scan probe is placed against your abdominal skin. You’ll need to remove or adjust any clothing items that cover up your abdominal area, so that the skin is sufficiently exposed.
In an internal scan the probe is gently inserted into your vagina. The probe used here is specially designed to be as comfortable as possible. You’ll need to remove the clothing from your lower body and will be given a cover during the scan.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Anna s
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
Great Portland Street