A nuchal translucency scan is part of the ultrasound scan that may give an indication of chromosomal abnormality. Learn more about how and when it is performed. During your pregnancy, you will be offered a number of tests and scans.
First Trimester / Dating Ultrasound | Advanced Women's Imaging
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Early Pregnancy Scan (6 -14 weeks)
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- What to expect during your 8 week ultrasound.
General health Pregnancy and parenting Aged care Caring for someone. Dating scans are used to confirm how many weeks pregnant you are and your expected due date. Why would I have a dating scan? How is a dating scan performed? What preparation do I need to do for a dating scan? Take a look at each week of your pregnancy, from conception to birth, with our comprehensive email newsletters.
You'll need to activate to enter promotions -. If this is your first ultrasound you will be understandably anxious. Getting a glimpse of your baby for the first time is big. You are allowed to refuse any tests suggested by a healthcare professional if you feel unsure about them. Pregnancy healthcare professionals are used to lots of questions so ask away! From anywhere between eight and 12 weeks pregnant, your healthcare professional might suggest that you schedule your first ultrasound appointment.
The main reason for this scan is to confirm the gestational age of your baby. Depending on your healthcare professional and your personal preferences, your eight week ultrasound can be performed using a wand across your abdomen or another type of wand inside your vagina. Transvaginal ultrasound usually produces better and clearer images of the female pelvic organs including the developing pregnancy, because the ultrasound probe lies closer to these structures.
The transvaginal ultrasound probe is thin, about 2cm diameter. The probe is covered with a disposable protective sheath. A small amount of ultrasound gel is placed on the end of this probe. The probe is then gently inserted a short distance into the vagina. All transvaginal probes have been cleaned and sterilised according to recommended protocols. Performing the transvaginal ultrasound usually causes less discomfort than a pap smear. No analgesia is required for this ultrasound. Your privacy will always be respected during your ultrasound, especially the transvaginal examination.
You will have a large towel covering your lower body, in addition to wearing a gown during the transvaginal ultrasound. You will always have a choice about whether transvaginal ultrasound is performed. If you have concerns about transvaginal ultrasound, please discuss this with your sonographer before your ultrasound begins.
We usually get better images during transabdominal ultrasound if the bladder is partially filled, so to help your examination we ask you to drink water prior to the assessment. Please empty your bladder 1 hour before your appointment, drink 2 glasses of water and try not to empty your bladder again until after your appointment.
A full bladder moves bowel out from the pelvis into the abdomen, helping visualisation of the pregnancy, uterus and ovaries. Your bladder should not be so full that it causes pain. If your bladder is very full and painful, you should empty a small amount so you are more comfortable. You will be able to empty your bladder after the transabdominal ultrasound is completed and before the transvaginal ultrasound begins if transvaginal ultrasound is required. Sometimes the results of a first trimester scan may be inconclusive or uncertain, and need to be combined with your clinical history and blood tests serum BhCG.
Some women need to return for another ultrasound scan a few weeks later to assess the progress of the pregnancy, or they may require another blood test serial serum BhCG. We realise this is often an anxious time for parents, while they wait for the next ultrasound to check on their baby. We will do our best to answer your questions and minimise your anxiety. A first trimester ultrasound will usually include each of the following components however some ultrasounds may focus more on particular areas. Your ultrasound is always performed in the context of your clinical history and the results of previous ultrasounds and investigations.
Before 5 weeks gestation, the developing pregnancy is too small to detect on ultrasound. The endometrium the lining of the uterus where the pregnancy will grow should appear thick and secretory.
Why would I have a dating scan?
One of the ovaries will have an ovulation cyst called a haemorrhagic corpus luteum. This ovarian cyst is a normal part of getting pregnant, as the egg forming your baby was released from this cyst. The corpus luteum will gradually resolve get smaller as the pregnancy continues. At weeks gestation, a small gestation pregnancy sac is seen within the uterus. A transvaginal ultrasound is usually required to see the baby at this stage of the pregnancy.