Getting the dates correct is crucial to the safety of pregnancy and can prevent unnecessary induction of labour.
Your baby will be measured (crown to rump length) and your uterus and the yolk sac positions will be checked.
The first part of a pregnancy to be visible on ultrasound is the “gestational sac” which can be seen with a transvaginal scan approximately 3 weeks after a baby is conceived. During the next 2 weeks first a “yolk sac” and then a small “fetal pole” become visible.
When the fetal pole grows to more than 4mm the baby’s heart beat can be picked up on the ultrasound and these things normally occur 4 ½ weeks after conception (about 6 ½ weeks from the last menstrual period).
Approximately 99% of pregnancies in which fetal heart activity is found at 10 weeks of gestation will continue to term.
Early pregnancy scans and appropriate advise are offered to pregnant women between 5 weeks and 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The scan shows the number of fetuses and the fetal heart activity (i.e. Dating scan: this scan checks the number of weeks of gestation of your pregnancy by measuring the fetes from the top to the bottom.
Your ovaries will also be checked and you will be given a Pregnancy Progress report and four 2D thermal images to take away.
A clear explanation of the procedure and what has been found during the scan will be given to you by your sonographer throughout the scan.
In the very unfortunate event that the pregnancy has stopped or if the pregnancy has implanted in the Fallopian tube (i.e.
ectopic pregnancy), the consultant will be able to discuss with you the available options and provide the most appropriate treatment without further delay or additional hospital visits.