Pregnancy Ultrasound

Why Get One Early?

A number of practitioners routinely recommend a pregnancy ultrasound at around seven to nine weeks, whereas others will only perform one if they have reason to suspect any of the following:


If you suffer from vaginal bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy, your practitioner may be concerned about miscarriage and may wish to perform an ultrasound to check on your baby. Assuming a 28-day menstrual cycle, by six and half weeks of pregnancy, the baby's heartbeat should be clearly visible. If your baby's heart beat is seen through pregnancy ultrasound after 7 weeks, you have a more than 97% chance of continuing with your pregnancy.

However don’t panic if you can't see the heart beating at this stage. Your cycle may be longer than average, or your baby may be younger than first thought. Your practitioner may wish to wait another week before performing a further ultrasound.

Ectopic or molar pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding (along with other symptoms) may be an indication of an ectopic or molar pregnancy. With ectopic pregnancy (where the embryo isn’t situated in the uterus), the practitioner will need to find out where the embryo is. With a molar pregnancy (where there’s an abnormal placenta with no viable baby), the sonogram may show what looks like a cluster of grapes where the baby should normally be.

More Reasons for An Early Pregnancy Ultrasound

Uncertain gestational age

If you aren’t sure of the date you started your last menstrual period or the length of your cycle, you may be asked to attend an ultrasound at around 7 weeks in order to establish how far along your pregnancy is.

In the early stages of pregnancy, all fetuses are about the same size. This allows your practitioner to determine your baby's gestational age (and thus your approximate due date) by taking certain measurements. Between 7 and 13 weeks gestation, measuring from the crown of your baby's head to his rump will enable your practitioner to determine the baby's age with an accuracy of three or four days.

Multiple gestation

If you’ve had fertility treatment or are measuring particularly large, there is the possibility that you may be pregnant with twins or higher multiples. You will be given a pregnancy ultrasound to determine how many babies you are carrying.

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