5 Weeks Pregnanct Ultrasound: Procedure, Abnormalities and more

Ultrasound Scan at 5 Weeks of Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Week 5 is usually the time when most women find out that they are pregnant. If you have missed your periods, and have been feeling dizzy or tired lately and experiencing mood swings too, then you could be pregnant. To confirm the same, you will have to go to a doctor and get an ultrasound done. It is during 5th week when the first ultrasound is done; and if you suspect you are pregnant, check with a doctor to confirm the same. And read on to know what happens at week 5 ultrasound scan!

When Should You Have Your First Ultrasound Scan?

A woman undergoing an ultrasound during early pregnancy

You must have your first ultrasound scan somewhere around the fifth week of your pregnancy because that’s when the first sign of a heartbeat appear. This will help confirm the presence of a baby inside the womb. The ultrasound scan at this week helps in visually confirming the presence of the baby in the early stages of the pregnancy.

There are many reasons that the fifth week is ideal for a pregnancy check because any time before that cannot help confirm the news. A fair amount of pregnancies before the fifth week tend to get terminated for multiple reasons. So, this is about the perfect time to get an ultrasound scan done.

Why Should You Have an Ultrasound Scan at 5 Weeks?

There are many reasons for performing an ultrasound scan at 5 weeks of pregnancy which are as follows.

  • The ultrasound scan performed during week 5, which will perhaps be your first ultrasound scan, will help the doctor check and confirm whether you are having one or more than one baby.
  • Your doctor will be able to check for any abnormalities by performing an ultrasound. Although it is early on in pregnancy, your doctor will examine yolk sac and gestational sac to detect for any abnormalities.
  • An ultrasound at this stage will help confirm whether a baby is growing normally, especially if this is your second pregnancy and if you have had a problematic pregnancy before or are expecting twins.
  • You can anticipate the size of the baby through the ultrasound.

How to Prepare for Your Fifth Week Pregnancy Scan

The first thing your doctor will recommend you is that you drink a lot of water in your 5th week pregnancy scan so that you have a full bladder. This will push the baby up and thus the sonographer will get a clear view of the embryo. At this stage, as your baby will be about the size of an apple seed, so it is necessary that a clear view is obtained.

For an ultrasound scan, you will be asked to lie down on the examination table. An ultrasound technician will apply a lubricating gel on your lower abdomen and then glide a wand along. By gliding the wand along, the technician will be able to locate the gestational sac and the baby’s heartbeat. The waves will help produce clear images of the foetus on the screen. It is important that you stay calm during the process. However, if the technician is unable to locate the gestational sac because of the poor abdominal window, she may suggest a transvaginal scan. Early stages of pregnancy can be very challenging for you because you may have headaches and feel fatigued and dizzy. Staying calm can help lower stress and help you combat the symptoms in a better way.

How Long Does It Take to Perform an Ultrasound Scan at 5 Weeks of Pregnancy?

It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to perform an ultrasound scan. The technician will apply the gel and run the wand over your belly which will help produce the images on the monitor clearly. The whole process should take around 30 minutes or an hour at max. If you want, you can also request for a photograph of the ultrasound.

How Is an Ultrasound Scan Performed at 5 Weeks?

The process is simple wherein the doctor will ask you to drink water before the session. Then you will have to lie on your back on the examination table. After this, the technician will apply a gel on your belly and glide the ultrasound device or the wand over it in order to get the images on the monitor. You can also take your partner in order to help you with the process. It will be indeed a very special moment for you, i.e., when you see your baby in your womb. Enjoy the moment and follow your doctor’s orders.

What Will You See on the Scan at the Fifth Week of Your Pregnancy?

During the scan, you will be able to see the gestational sac along with the yolk sac which forms around the 5th week. With twins, you can also see the yolk sac along with the fetal poles. If you are carrying twins who are identical, you will see a single gestational sac along with two yolk sacs, with the embryo somewhere around 1.25 mm in length.

The gestational sac is the black area while the yolk sac is the small white circle on the top-left of the sac. It is also the source of nutrients for the foetus. You can only view the embryo after five weeks because otherwise, it is the size of a rice grain. However, it can be visible before 5 weeks too using high-end machines. An experienced sonographer will be able to see the sac with the help of a transvaginal scan too.

Can You Find Out If You Are Carrying Twins at Week 5 of Your Pregnancy?

Yes, by performing an ultrasound scan at week 5, your doctor or the technician will be able to tell whether you are carrying twins or not. Based on whether the twins are fraternal or identical, you will be able to see them.

What If the Ultrasound Scan Reveals Nothing?

If your doctor sees nothing at the week 5 ultrasound, then it is important that you ask her if a yolk sac is present or not. Sometimes, the baby might be too small to appear on the ultrasound. If at 5 weeks of your pregnancy, no sac is present, then it could mean the following.

  1. Wrong dates were given to you and the baby should be visible in the scan in a few days.
  2. It is an ectopic pregnancy.
  3. It is a miscarriage.

What If Some Abnormalities Are Discovered in the Scan?

An ultrasound can help detect abnormalities in the yolk sac, foetal pole, and gestational sac. Based on the severity of the abnormality you can follow the procedures specified by the doctor.

Is this Scan a Part of Your Routine Pregnancy Care?

The ultrasound scan performed at 5 weeks of pregnancy is the first ultrasound scan and therefore it is a regular part of the pregnancy process. This scan will determine whether you are pregnant or not.

Ultrasound scans are very important to rule out any problems that may arise during pregnancy. The 5-week pregnancy scan is the first pregnancy scan, so don’t skip this or the ones after this scan. Go for this scan to confirm your pregnancy and the condition of the embryo and begin your journey towards motherhood.

Next Week: 6 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

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