Ultrasound can be done a few times throughout the entire pregnancy. Some practitioners recommend ultrasound within 6 to 9 weeks of pregnancy, typically through transvaginal sonogram. The latter uses a transducer inserted into the vagina to get a clear image of the uterus. This is done because the baby is too small and low in the abdomen to be seen through abdominal ultrasound. Doctors may request it in the early stages of pregnancy for a number of reasons, including the following:
Check the Heartbeat
Some pregnant moms experience vaginal bleeding in the first weeks of pregnancy. Doctors may be concerned about miscarriage so they might want to schedule ultrasound. By 6 to 7 weeks, the baby’s heartbeat should already be visible. If the sonogram shows heartbeat by 7 weeks of pregnancy, there is a greater chance of the pregnancy continuing. If not, perhaps the baby is younger than what was estimated.
Determine Ectopic Pregnancy
Some symptoms indicate ectopic pregnancy, a condition wherein the embryo develops outside the uterus. The doctor will find out where the embryo is. In this case, the placenta is abnormal and there will be no viable baby.
Know the Gestational Age
Some women are not sure of their last menstrual period, and ultrasound can help determine the baby’s age since fetuses are almost the same in size during the first few weeks of life. After taking measurements from the crown to the rump, the age can be estimated. This is necessary to estimate the due date as well.
Confirm Multiple Births
An ultrasound can also determine multiple gestation or fetal number. The doctor may be concerned about the mother having more than one baby to prepare well for the pregnancy or childbirth.
Check Baby’s Progress
Some symptoms may be a cause of concern especially during the first trimester of conception. Vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain or other conditions are experienced by some moms and ultrasound can be a reliable tool to assess the baby’s development. It can reassure parents that the baby is progressing well and if there are problems, they can be detected earlier.
Preparing for the Ultrasound
There is no special preparation before a transvaginal scan, though the sonographer may recommend emptying the bladder to remove obstructions that may get in the way of the view. Since the probe will be inserted in the vagina, the patient will have to undress waist down but a sheet can be used to cover the legs.
Though results of the first few weeks of scans are not conclusive or certain and require further tests to confirm a condition, it can still help determine warning signs that require special care. The doctor may advise repeating the scan after a few weeks or another test such as a blood test. The early stage of pregnancy may be an anxious time for parents, but ultrasound can be one of their best ways to be reassured that baby is fine.
Pregnancy can be fun, especially when it’s time to know baby’s gender. Make sure you record the memorable moment by opting for HD 3D or 4D ultrasound offered by companies. You can choose to undergo elective ultrasound scans for early gender confirmation and high quality image print that can serve as keepsake. To know the nearest elective ultrasound provider, try searching for “3D ultrasound near me”.