At around seven weeks of pregnancy, the embryo begins to grow hands and feet. This is when the mother can see her baby for the first time through an ultrasound.
Why Do You Need an Ultrasound Scan at the 7th Week?
Getting an ultrasound done has the following benefits;
- The gestational age of the baby can be determined by the dating scan.
- At seven weeks, the embryo’s heartbeat is detectable in an ultrasound. A heartbeat is the first sign of a healthy and live foetus.
- The mother’s reproductive health is checked.
- Twin or multiple pregnancy are visible in the form of multiple gestational sacs.
- Ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo attaches itself to the fallopian tubes, can also be diagnosed in this scan.
- The baby’s growth is compared with its gestational age to detect abnormalities.
- If the pregnant woman faces bleeding or discharge, a quick ultrasound scan can ascertain the cause.
For Whom Is a Dating Scan Necessary?
Women who have an irregular menstrual cycle or do not remember their last menstrual period date find it challenging to calculate their due dates. Also, women who have conceived while taking oral contraceptives or are breastfeeding do not know the date of conception. In such situations, a dating scan to estimate the approximate gestational age of the baby can be helpful in calculating the estimated delivery date. It is also useful in monitoring the growth of the baby.
How Is the 7th Week Scan Performed?
The ultrasound at seven weeks can be done in two different ways. Depending on the mom-to-be health condition, a transvaginal scan or an abdominal ultrasound is performed. A transvaginal scan involves inserting the probe vaginally and for that, you need not have a full bladder. However, if it is an abdominal ultrasound, a full bladder is necessary for a clear vision of the foetus.
How Long Does the 7th Week Ultrasound Take?
he seventh-week ultrasound does not take more than a few minutes. The heartbeat, the gestational age and the growth of the baby are checked.
What Can You Expect to See?
Many moms-to-be don’t know what they should expect to see in an ultrasound scan at 7 weeks. Here is what you will likely notice:
- You can identify tiny hands, toes, and even the nostrils of your baby.
- At 7 weeks, the baby is about the size of a blueberry and requires magnification for a clearer view.
- The highlight of this scan is that the foetal heartbeat can be heard.
- Internal organs that have started developing may also be visible.
Can You See Twins on the Ultrasound?
Yes, twins can be identified at the 7th week scan. They are usually visible as multiple embryos or gestational sacs. However, in some cases, identifying the presence of one more baby can be missed as the scan is done much earlier in pregnancy.
Has a Miscarriage Occured If There’s No Heartbeat at 7 Weeks?
The absence of a heartbeat at the seventh week ultrasound can be a sign of miscarriage. But there are some factors that need to be considered before coming to this conclusion. It may simply be that the gestational age of the baby has been miscalculated. To rule out this doubt, repeat the scan after a week to check for a heartbeat.
Which Other Abnormalities Can Be Found Out?
Abnormalities like cysts in the ovaries and other foetal malformations are usually detected in the seventh week scan. The sonographer checks the foetal heartbeat, crown-rump length, gestational sac diameter and other vital parameters.
Why Isn’t the 7th Week Ultrasound 100% Accurate?
No scan is 100% accurate. In certain cases, an ultrasound may not be accurate:
- The foetus may not have positioned itself in a convenient position. Sometimes, it can curl up, stretch or even turn away from the sound waves making it a little difficult to view.
- The proficiency of the sonographer is important to detect any abnormalities.
- The quality and condition of the ultrasound equipment also affect the accuracy of the scan.
The ultrasound scan at seven weeks is crucial to detect any developmental abnormality early on. They also help to detect the foetal heartbeat and make it easier to determine the gestational age of the foetus. So, remember to visit your gynaecologist after 7 weeks of conception!
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