6 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound: Procedure, Abnormalities and more

6 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rima Sonpal (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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Life turns upside down when a woman gets pregnant. This is true even for all those around the mother-to-be. What causes most of the stress is the confusion during the first few weeks. You will definitely spend most of your time in a confused state, but there are ways to deal with this. With technological and medical evolution, it is possible to observe the health of the foetus and predict the near future till childbirth. An ultrasound is one such technology that is extensively used by gynaecologists to put the minds of women at ease and to evaluate the progress of their pregnancy. A 6-week ultrasound is the first ultrasound expectant women get to check the baby’s heartbeat through a transvaginal scan. This may be delayed till seven to eight weeks of pregnancy as well. In this article, we shall be talking about having an ultrasound at 6 weeks of pregnancy. Read on to know more.

Why Is a 6-Week Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan Required?

There are a few reasons why an ultrasound scan is required during the 6th week of pregnancy:

  • To rule out ectopic pregnancy and confirm that the pregnancy sac is located inside the uterus.
  • To check if the heart of the foetus is beating.
  • To calculate the number of weeks of pregnancy or the gestation period that have passed.
  • To detect any bleeding or spotting in the internal organs.
  • To check the number of babies in the womb.
  • To confirm if there are complications in the
  • To check the mother’s pelvic organs.

Preparations Required for a Six-Week Pregnancy Scan

An ultrasound scan does not require any specific preparations; however, the technician will advise you to drink a lot of water beforehand. This is done because your bladder needs to be full for the technician to obtain clear images of your baby. Your reproductive organs must also be clearly visible. Drinking four or five glasses of water around an hour before your scheduled scan is advisable so that the bladder is full at the right time. You may urinate after the scan is completed.

How Long Does a Six-Week Ultrasound Take?

The scanning process does not take a lot of time. The entire process is usually over within a few minutes; it will seldom take more than half an hour.

Woman getting ultrasound scan done

How Is the Scan Performed?

As mentioned earlier, there are two ways to carry out an ultrasound scan. One is the transabdominal scan, and the other is the transvaginal scan. For both the scans, the expecting mother is made to lie on her back on a bed. During a transabdominal scan, her tummy is lubricated using a gel, and a scanning probe is pressed on top of her belly in a firm manner. During a transvaginal scan, a thinner scanning probe is inserted in the vagina. In both cases, the images are studied on a computer screen.

Usually, the quality of the images obtained during a transabdominal scan helps the technician determine whether you need a transvaginal ultrasound scan. That’s because transvaginal ultrasound scans provide more clear images. The probes used for both ultrasound scans emit ultrasonic sound waves that help capture an image of the baby inside the womb. These images are then evaluated by the doctor for assessing your pregnancy.

What Is Assessed Through an Ultrasound Scan?

Many mothers wonder what exactly to expect in an ultrasound scan done in the 6th week. Well, several aspects of the pregnancy and the baby in the womb can be obtained using the scanning procedure. Here are some of the developments or what you can see in ultrasound at 6 weeks:

  • The location of the pregnancy– whether it is ectopic or within the uterus – is obtained.
  • You can get an idea of whether you will be able to carry the pregnancy to full term.
  • You can also obtain the foetal pole of the baby, which is the shape of the embryo as it develops gradually in the uterus. The head area and the leg buds are usually visible and can be differentiated by the technician.
  • The chorion and yolk sacs, both of which are absolutely essential for the baby to grow healthily, can be clearly seen in an ultrasound scan. The sacs provide the nutrition required by the embryo until the placenta has been established.
  • The heartbeat of the baby is another aspect commonly detected, although it grows stronger around the seven-week mark.

How Does a Baby Look Like at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy?

At six weeks of gestation, the embryo becomes visible as a featureless oval structure next to a yolk ac, which initially measures 1-2 mm in length. The foetus at this stage of pregnancy is similar to the size of a single sweet pea, about 3/4 inch in length. The little blip or baby’s back is curved along with a large head.

Is It Possible To See Twins in the 6-Week Ultrasound?

Yes, it is possible to see twins at 6 weeks ultrasound. The ultrasound can reveal the separate yolk sacs and their heartbeat. The twin ultrasound at 6 weeks will show two dark spots as babies in the uterus.

Does a 6-Week Ultrasound Scan Fail to Reveal the Embryo?

In some cases, the ultrasound scan may not reveal the embryo or any of its vital signs. The lack of a heartbeat does not mean anything significant, as later scans are sure to detect the heartbeat of the foetus. You might be off about the timing of the pregnancy, thinking that it has gone on for longer than it actually has. This usually means that the signs of the embryo come along later than you thought they would.

Pictures of 6-Week Ultrasound

6 weeks pregnant ultrasoundAt a six-week ultrasound, the foetus will be the size of a sweet pea. It is quite normal for only the yolk sac to be visible during this early phase. There is no need to be alarmed if you see only a small, seemingly empty, dark circle on the ultrasound. 

Since it’s still quite early in the pregnancy journey, doctors often assess the diameter of the gestational sac as a measurement. Typically, around the 6th week of pregnancy, the gestational sac’s diameter is approximately 10 millimetres.

6-Week Ultrasound and No Heartbeat – Is There a Chance of Miscarriage?

Although a 6-week ultrasound 3D scan can give the doctor an idea about the chances of a miscarriage, the fact that a heartbeat was not detected is not a sign of an impending tragedy. The heartbeat might simply be too faint, and it can be detected after a week or two when it has grown sufficiently. If you experience heavy bleeding or period cramps, then checking for a miscarriage at 6 weeks pregnant ultrasound can be beneficial. 

What If Any Other Abnormalities Are Found on the Scan?

The first pregnancy scan done in the 6th week of pregnancy gives the gynaecologist a fair evaluation of how the pregnancy is progressing and an idea of whether there are growth abnormalities in the foetus. If there are likely any abnormalities, the doctor will surely help you tackle the problem and ensure the best for your baby with the help of a 6-week foetus ultrasound.

An ultrasound scan at 6 weeks is a must for any pregnant woman, not just to evaluate the health of the child but that of the mother too. It also helps decrease anxiety and helps take necessary and prompt actions in case of abnormalities.


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2. 6 Weeks Pregnant; American Pregnancy Association; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/week-by-week/6-weeks-pregnant/

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4. Ultrasound in Pregnancy; Cleveland Clinic; https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/9704-ultrasound-in-pregnancy

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7. You and your baby at 6 weeks pregnant; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/week-by-week/1-to-12/6-weeks/

Also Read:

5th Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound
7th Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan
Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan at 8th Week

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