- Why Should You Have an Ultrasound at 7 Weeks?
- For Whom Is a Dating Scan Necessary?
- How Is the 7th Week Scan Performed?
- How Long Does It Take to Perform an Ultrasound Scan at 7 Weeks?
- What Can You Expect?
- Can You See Twins on the Ultrasound Scan?
- No Heartbeat at 7 Weeks – Is it a Sign of Miscarriage?
- What If Some Other Abnormalities Are Discovered in the Scan?
- Why Isn’t the 7th Week Ultrasound 100% Accurate?
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the 7th week of your pregnancy. Most women find out that they are pregnant by the 5th week – if you had been eagerly waiting for a baby and came to know about your pregnancy, you must be ecstatic and the news must be still sinking in. At around seven weeks of your 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. Here’s what you can expect in your 7th-week ultrasound scan.
Why Should You Have an Ultrasound at 7 Weeks?
This scan is performed for various purposes. Getting an ultrasound done has the following benefits on the baby –
- The gestational age of the baby can be determined by the dating scan.
- At seven weeks, the embryo’s heartbeat can be detected through an ultrasound scan. A heartbeat is the first sign of a healthy and live foetus.
- The mother’s reproductive health is checked.
- Through an ultrasound scan at 7 weeks, twin or multiple pregnancy can be detected in the form of multiple gestational sacs.
- Ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo attaches itself to the fallopian tubes or any other location other than the uterine body, 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 health of the expecting woman, a transvaginal scan or abdominal ultrasound is performed. A transvaginal scan involves inserting the probe vaginally and for that, the woman needs to have a full bladder before the scan. However, if it is an abdominal ultrasound, a full bladder is necessary for a clear vision of the foetus.
How Long Does It Take to Perform an Ultrasound Scan at 7 Weeks?
The seventh-week ultrasound does not take more than a few minutes. The heartbeat, the gestational age and the growth of the baby will be checked in this scan and the maximum time it will take it half an hour.
What Can You Expect?
Many moms-to-be don’t know what they should expect to see in an ultrasound scan at 7 weeks. Here is what you are likely to notice –
- You will be able to see the 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 Scan?
Yes, twins can be identified in the 7th-week scan. They are usually visible as multiple embryos or gestational sacs. However, in some rare cases, identifying the presence of one more baby can be missed as the scan is done much earlier in pregnancy.
No Heartbeat at 7 Weeks – Is it a Sign of Miscarriage?
Yes, the absence of a heartbeat at the seventh-week ultrasound can be a sign of miscarriage. But there are several factors that need to be considered before coming to this conclusion. In some cases, the heartbeat is not detected if the gestational age of the baby is miscalculated. To rule out this doubt, another scan can be done after a week.
What If Some Other Abnormalities Are Discovered in the Scan?
The chances of abnormalities such as cysts in the ovaries and other malformations will be there and they can be 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 sonographer may not be trained enough to detect any abnormalities. Hence, the scan results may not be accurate.
- The quality and condition of the ultrasound equipment can 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 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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