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26.02.2021
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Early Pregnancy Scan: What To Expect

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! It’s now time for you to start planning your first ultrasound scan. While it’s completely understandable that you want to book in and see your baby as soon as possible, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking at your dates. When it comes to first trimester ultrasounds, even just a week (yes, really, seven days!) can make a huge difference in terms of what we can see. That’s why we thought it would be helpful to provide you with a week by week guide of baby’s growth. Our Early Pregnancy scan is recommended from 6 weeks up until 11 weeks 6 days; the images below will demonstrate why!

 

4 WEEKS

At four weeks, your baby is only the size of a poppy seed, which is sadly just too small for us to see on an ultrasound. For scale, here is a poppy seed on a ruler:

 

5 WEEKS

Baby is teeny tiny at this stage, and is currently the size of a sesame seed, which means we will just about manage to see them on the ultrasound:

 

The image on the below left shows a 5 week pregnancy with a transabdominal view (this means the transducer is on top of the tummy). If the sonographer is unable to spot the gestational sac, they might ask if you are comfortable for a transvaginal scan to be performed. For a transvaginal scan, the sonographer will take a transducer (a small device the size of a tampon) and cover it with a sterile, latex-free cover. The transducer is then inserted into the vagina the same depth as a tampon. This form of study is entirely safe, and can drastically improve visibility. For comparison, on the right is an image from a 5 week transvaginal scan showing a marked improvement in detail.

 

6 WEEKS

Baby is now the size of a grain of rice at around 5mm!

At six weeks, we can locate the gestational sac and possibly a fetal pole. Sometimes it isn’t possible to locate a heartbeat this early, which is why we recommend pushing your appointment
out by a week if you are in any way unsure of your dates. Here is a transabdominal 6 week scan followed by a transvaginal view so you can see the difference.

 

7 WEEKS

Now that your baby is 9mm, the size of a peanut, things are starting to get interesting!

At 7 weeks, the sonographer can see a gestational sac and fetal pole, as well as locate the heartbeat!

 

8 WEEKS

At 8 weeks and 1.5cm, the baby is the size of a blueberry! From 8 weeks onwards, the sonographer usually won’t need to perform a tranvaginal scan, as your baby is big enough to see via transabdominal scanning.

 

9 WEEKS

Baby is now the size of a 2.2cm almond!

 

10 WEEKS

Baby is the size of a grape at 3.1cm!

11 WEEKS

What a difference a week makes! Baby is now 4.2cm, the size of a small plum!

 

Now that you know what to expect at your first Early Pregnancy scan, feel free to view our available appointment times and select the day that suits you best by clicking here.

If you would like more information on anything covered in this post, you can get in touch via info@theultrasoundsuite.ie or send us a message on our Facebook page and we will get back
to you as soon as possible. Our website theultrasoundsuite.ie also provides a wealth of information on our various policies and procedures.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

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