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It's not completely foolproof – but the dating scan is a much more accurate way to work out how far you are into pregnancy than calculating it by the date of your last period, which is the only method the midwives will have used so far to work out your due date.You may find at this scan your due date is altered on your notes.NICE recommends it's done between 10 weeks and 13 weeks.You will have had earlier appointments and may have had an early scan if you've had any concerns such as bleeding, but otherwise this is the first time you'll get to see your baby, so it's a real milestone in your pregnancy.It's more common to be told you're less far along than you thought you were, rather than that you're actually further along in the pregnancy.You may also be offered a nuchal translucency test at this appointment.These dates are calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period.A medical report will be available immediately after your appointment.

Are you expecting just one baby, or could it be twins or (gulp) even more?

The scan is primarily for dating but the sonographer will also look in on a few more things at the same time.

Here are the main checks they'll be making: Your baby will be measured and the exact stage of pregnancy will be calculated from the measurement made from crown to rump.

It is particularly reassuring for women who have suffered a previous miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

An early pregnancy scan will: You can have an early pregnancy scan any time from 5 weeks to 11 weeks and 1 day into your pregnancy.

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