Understanding Viability Scans: A Guide for Expectant Parents

Pregnancy is an exciting time for parents, but it can also be a time of uncertainty and anxiety. One of the first concerns that expectant parents may have is the pregnancy's viability.

A viability scan, also known as an early pregnancy scan, is a medical imaging test used to assess the health of the developing foetus during the first trimester of pregnancy. This blog will discuss and provide information to help expectant parents ensure a healthy pregnancy.

What Is A Viability Scan?

The primary goal of this scan is to confirm the pregnancy's viability, which means determining whether the foetus is developing typically and has a healthy heartbeat. The scan is usually performed between 6 and 10 weeks of pregnancy and is frequently the first ultrasound performed during the pregnancy. This early scan can provide vital information about the pregnancy and assist healthcare providers in identifying potential problems early on.

An ultrasound probe is used during the scan to send high-frequency sound waves into the body, which bounce back to create an image of the developing foetus. The scan can confirm that the foetus is inside the uterus and not an ectopic pregnancy (in which the foetus grows outside the uterus), which can be fatal.

The scan can also confirm the number of foetuses present and the pregnancy's gestational age. It can reveal the size and shape of the gestational sac, the presence of a yolk sac, and the fetal pole's development. During the scan, a foetal heartbeat can be detected, which is an essential indicator of foetal viability.

Viability Scan Procedure

The scan is typically performed around 6-10 weeks of pregnancy and can be performed transvaginally or transabdominal. 

The patient will be asked to lie down on an examination table and expose their abdomen or vaginal area during the viability scan. A gel will be applied to the skin or ultrasound probe to help transmit sound waves and create more precise images of the foetus.

After that, the ultrasound probe will be moved around the area to capture images of the uterus and foetus. The healthcare provider will examine the size and shape of the gestational sac, the presence of a yolk sac, and the development of the foetal pole. During the scan, a foetal heartbeat can be detected, which is an essential indicator of foetal viability.

If the first scan did not provide clear images or information, a second scan might be recommended in some cases. This follow-up scan is usually scheduled after the foetus has grown and developed further.

Importance Of Viability Scan

A viability scan can help identify potential issues such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or molar pregnancy and confirm the pregnancy's viability. Additional testing or monitoring may be advised if any problems are discovered during the scan.

If you are expecting a baby, a viability scan is crucial to ensure your pregnancy is healthy and on track. At Apollo Cradle, we offer state-of-the-art medical imaging technology and experienced healthcare professionals who can provide you with the best care possible. Our team of experts will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you have a healthy and safe pregnancy. 


A viability scan is an essential tool for expectant parents and healthcare providers to assess the health and development of a fetus during the early stages of pregnancy. Whether performed transvaginally or transabdominal, the procedure is non-invasive and provides critical information about foetal viability, the number of foetuses present, and the gestational age of the pregnancy.

A viability scan can provide peace of mind for parents and help healthcare providers to ensure a healthy pregnancy. We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about scheduling a viability scan if you are expecting a baby.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Brookefield. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is a viability scan?

A viability scan is an ultrasound examination performed between 6 and 12 weeks of pregnancy to confirm that the pregnancy is developing typically and to provide reassurance. This scan will also confirm or rule out the presence of twins.

2. What can I expect from a viability scan?

You will be asked to drink plenty of water so that the uterus can be seen clearly during the test. A small amount of gel will be applied to your abdomen for the ultrasound. It helps to wear loose clothing. The examination should not last more than 30 minutes.

3. Are viability scans safe?

There are no known risks to the baby or the mother from having an ultrasound scan, but it is critical that you carefully consider whether or not to have the scan. This is because the scan may reveal information that requires you to make additional important decisions.

4. What is the best scan for pregnancy?

During pregnancy, ultrasound monitors the baby's development, detects multiple pregnancies, and detects abnormalities. The ultrasound scan is not 100% accurate, but it has the advantages of being non-invasive, painless, and safe for both mother and unborn baby.

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