Complementary health care clinic specializing in pregnancy scans, classes and treatments


new for April

Hypnobirthing -1st & 15th April with Joan Mills

Osteopathy – Sara Randall from Perfect Balance now holds clinics on Thursday morning

Baby massage – next course starts on April 20th for 5 weeks

Update for Autumn 2018

Autumn 2018

4D scan competition

Come in for a pregnancy scan before Christmas and we will enter you into our competition to win a 4D scan if you tag us in your baby pictures on social media #verulamclinic  (Facebook or Instagram)

Hypnobirthing courses will continue to run through the Autumn into Winter with availability in November, December & January.




How early is too early?

How early is too early for a pregnancy scan?

What parents want

Every parent wants to have their pregnancy confirmed as viable but I have found that more and more mums (& dads) to be want to know that ‘everything is alright’ as soon as they can, sometimes this is just after a pregnancy test gives them the blue line.  By ‘alright’ this usually means we can see the heartbeat.  It can be difficult to explain embryo development and scan limitations during a phone call but we try to avoid booking appointments too early and thus wasting your money & time.


 This is a scan picture of a 2 mm fetal pole (baby) at about 5 ½ weeks.  The yolk sac is the round structure with the tiny white thickened area at about 3 o’clock the baby.  At this stage the heart pulsations are not always visible.



What is too early?

If you have a regular 28 day cycle we should be able to see the heart beat at 6 weeks, this is around 2 weeks after a positive pregnancy test.

  • Before 5 weeks the development is insufficient to be able to see on the scan so too early to confirm location and viability (heartbeat).
  • 5 – 6 weeks we begin to see the early structures of a yolk sac and tiny fetal pole with the heart beat becoming visible towards 6 weeks.
  • The fetal pole at 6 weeks is only about 5mm but in a healthy pregnancy we should be able to the heart flickering.


A little bit bigger now – 7 weeks gestation

The heartbeat will be clearly seen ticking away



 No heart beat – what are the implications?

There are several reasons why we may not be able to see the heart beat at 6 weeks

  • Coming too early for the scan because the pregnancy is less advanced due to a long or irregular cycle or unsure of the dates
  • Early pregnancy failure (this will be covered in subsequent blogs)
  • Pregnancy not located in the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)

What is the next step

If we can’t see the heartbeat at 6 weeks we recommend a repeat scan in 10-14 days; a healthy pregnancy will show a significant growth during this time.

If there is any suggestion that the pregnancy may be ectopic we refer you back to your GP for blood tests and medical advice.

What we do

  • Reduce the chance of scanning too early by discussing your period and pregnancy test history to make an appointment at a time where you are most likely to be able to see your baby’s heartbeat.
  • Perform a vaginal scan which gives the best detail in early pregnancy.
  • Advise you what to do next if the appearances on the scan do not fit with the expected dates.


9 week fetus (baby), the head and body are clearly seen with the heartbeat fluttering rapidly in the chest.

Call or email to discuss the best time to see your baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

New website launch 20th October 2016

We are very excited to have launched the new Verulam Clinic website to showcase and inform our clients and potential clients.  I have been given the opportunity with this blog to write some pieces which I hope will be of interest.  I aim to publish one a week so here goes!

Care Quality Commission

Verulam Clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission. Provider ID: 1-127591200 20th May 2012 Registered number: 05283588 All sonographers & physiotherapists are registered with the Health & Care Professions Council.


Verulam Clinic
118-120 Victoria Street
St Albans

01727 833 100