When Should You Get Your First Ultrasound
You know something’s up when you develop cravings, the constant need to pee, or feeling nauseas. So you take a home pregnancy test and it comes back positive. But pregnancy sometimes doesn’t feel entirely real until you have your first peek of your baby during your first prenatal ultrasound.
Defining an Ultrasound
An ultrasound is an imaging technology that employs the use of sound waves to create images. A transducer may be inserted into the vagina or placed on top of the belly. The wand emits sound waves that bounce off of your baby’s tissues, fluids, and bones, which bounce back in the form of echoes. These echoes map out the image of your baby you see on the screen.
When should you get your first ultrasound?
Typically ultrasounds can be performed as early as 5 weeks into your pregnancy. Doctors however, normally recommend scheduling your first ultrasound between the 6th and 8th weeks into pregnancy.
Types of Ultrasound Exams
At this early stage of the pregnancy, there are two commonly used: Transvaginal ultrasound and Transabdominal ultrasound.
- Transvaginal Ultrasound
This is the more accurate method when getting measurements and a heartbeat early on in the 1st trimester. This examination uses a probe transducer which gets inserted into the vagina for a closer look at the uterus.
It shows the growth of the gestational sac as early as a week before it is detectable on a regular transabdominal sonogram.
- Transabdominal Ultrasound
This method uses the traditional transducer wand across the abdomen to send sound waves to the pelvis, which returns an image to the screen where you see your new child. This exam also views and monitors the cervix, ovaries and the bladder while you are pregnant.
What does the first ultrasound say?
This is quite an experience like no other for the mother. This is when you get to hear your little one’s heartbeat for the very first time.
As this is happening – your excitement on level 99, the doctor is taking necessary measurements to learn more about the growth and approximate age.
The measurements taken include the size of:
- The gestational sac
- The yolk sac
- The foetal pole
At about 6 weeks the Crown Rump Length (CRL) can also be used in the 1st-trimester measurements to assist with growth and age. The CRL is one of the best estimations of gestational age in early pregnancy.
The ultrasound also picks up the heartbeat rhythm to measure the heart rate and ascertain if it is within a normal healthy range. When all this has been done and measurements taken, the doctor will have a better picture of conception period and can determine a more accurate due date.
Babies are a precious joy. From the day you find out you are pregnant you enter into an experience that is full of awe as you get to see your little one progress and grow in your womb.
How We Can Help
We have highly skilled professionals who will focus on monitoring the pregnancy to check on growth and for any anomalies throughout your pregnancy. This is to ensure that you and your baby are as well as possible throughout your pregnancy. Contact Pregnancy by Choice today and select the best service that suits your needs.
Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)
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