- How old am I:
A dating scan is an ultrasound examination which is performed in order to establish the gestational age of the pregnancy. Most dating scans are done with a trans-abdominal transducer and a fullish bladder. If the pregnancy is very early the gestation sac and fetus will not be big enough to see, so the transvaginal approach will give better pictures. Dating scans are usually recommended if there is doubt about the validity of the last menstrual period.
Find out what you can see at your dating ultrasound as early as six weeks along and how to prepare for that first appointment.
By Kate Daley October 28, We asked the experts all you need to know about that six-week ultrasound or first ultrasound appointment. Your doctor will usually wait until at least six weeks to perform the first ultrasound. Remember, pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period.
Instead, you will have a transvaginal ultrasound, where they insert a tampon-length transducer ultrasound wand into the vagina to see the fetus.
At around seven to eight weeksthe sonographer can confirm the gestational age your due dateplus or minus three days. Your doctor will continue to use this date as a marker throughout your pregnancy, says Kinnear. The technician is looking at whether the embryo implants in the uterus.
If it implants outside of the uterus, this indicates an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube or somewhere besides the uterus. Where the embryo implants is also important as it can be higher or lower in the uterus.
Dating scan before 10 weeks
At this early stage, the sonographer will be looking for a yolk sac, which is attached to the baby like a balloon to provide nourishment, explains Kinnear. The sonographer may or may not be able to detect a heartbeat, depending on how far along you are, says Wilson. The earliest you can see a heartbeat is at five weeks and two days gestation, says Kinnear. Even then, sonographers often only see a heartbeat in 20 percent of early dating scans.
While it may be nerve-racking, your doctor will likely send you for a repeat scan in one to two weeks to re-evaluate, says Kinnear. If your doctor breaks out a Doppler to use on your tummy, you might also be able to hear the heartbeat but probably not until at least 10 weeks.
Depending on the province and medical clinic, they may or may not be able to give you details about your baby, such as heartbeat and size. Most clinics will fax the to your doctor for a follow-up appointment. Drink a glass of water 45 minutes before your ultrasound appointment in case you have an abdominal ultrasound, recommends Kinnear. However, you may be able to take a shot of the screen with your phone, if the technician allows, or order a CD of your photos. : Your pregnancy: 6 weeks What to expect at the week ultrasound.
Being pregnant What to expect at your 6-week ultrasound appointment Find out what you can see at your dating ultrasound as early as six weeks along and how to prepare for that first appointment. Photo: iStockphoto.
What to expect at your 6-week ultrasound appointment
When is the first ultrasound during pregnancy? What happens at the six-week ultrasound? What are they looking for during the first ultrasound? The sonographer is looking for a few main things in this first scan. What will they be checking at the first ultrasound?
Heartbeat At six weeks, sonographers may be able to see a heartbeat on the monitor more on this below. How many ultrasounds do you get in a typical pregnancy? Location of the embryo The technician is looking at whether the embryo implants in the uterus.
The four most common stages to have an ultrasound
Yolk sac At this early stage, the sonographer will be looking for a yolk sac, which is attached to the baby like a balloon to provide nourishment, explains Kinnear. When can you see a heartbeat? What can they tell you at the ultrasound?