8 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

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8 weeks ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan gives you a glimpse of your growing baby. Your first ultrasound can make you anxious and equally excited. Although you might be yearning to have that first glimpse of your baby, various questions linger in your mind. Let’s look at answers to some common questions such as the purpose of the scan, how is it done, and what can you expect.

Why Should You Have 8 Week Ultrasound Scan? 

Typically, an ultrasound during the eighth week is not required as it is a pretty early stage in your pregnancy. However, your healthcare professional or doctor might suggest a scan to ensure that everything is fine with you and the growing embryo.

The eight-week ultrasound scan might be performed for the following reasons:

  • To get an idea of the gestational age of the baby, a dating scan will be performed. The date will be estimated based on the baby’s size. Sometimes, this scan is performed if you aren’t sure about when you became pregnant and determining the date becomes mandatory.
  • To determine the cause of bleeding in a pregnant woman.
  • To confirm multiple pregnancies.
  • To check whether your baby has a heartbeat.
  • To ascertain the size of the embryo.
  • To check the health of fallopian tubes and the ovaries.
  • To check for any complications such as an ectopic pregnancy.

How to Prepare for Your 8 Week Scan?

You might have an abdominal ultrasound scan or a transvaginal ultrasound scan. Depending on the type of scan, you must prepare yourself.

If you have an abdominal scan, you must have a full bladder. As you are in the initial few weeks of pregnancy, your baby will be very small. So, a full bladder is required to push the uterus up. This helps in obtaining a better image of your baby. Wear loose and comfortable clothing because you might have to expose your tummy for the scan.

If you are having a transvaginal ultrasound scan, you must have an empty bladder. A full bladder hinders the view of your baby.

A pregnant woman getting an ultrasound scan

How Long Does this Ultrasound Take?

Generally, the ultrasound scan can take around 20 to 30 minutes. However, at times, the duration might be longer if the baby is in an odd position, which makes it difficult for a sonographer to obtain a clear image. Sometimes, if the tissues of the body are dense, it is difficult to obtain clear images and it might take quite some time to obtain an image of the required quality.

How Is Eight Week Ultrasound Scan Performed?

A sonographer performs the scan procedure. It is not painful or harmful to the mother or the baby. As discussed earlier there are two types of ultrasound scans:

  • Abdominal scan – In this type of scan, a conductive gel is spread over the belly. A handheld scanner is run over the belly. The gel enables ultrasound waves to pass through the skin and into the uterus. The waves then bounce back, thereby creating an image of the baby in the uterus.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound scan – In this type of scan, a small wand is placed inside the vagina. It is pressed against the cervix to obtain clear pictures. At times, you might feel slight pressure.

What Can Be Seen?

You might be wondering, what to expect in an 8 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan. When you are 8 weeks pregnant, the ultrasound scan provides the following information:

  • Functioning of the umbilical cord.
  • Size of the placenta and the embryo.
  • The heartbeat of the baby and the rate of the heartbeat.
  • Presence of multiple babies, which can be seen through the presence of multiple heartbeats and multiple yolk sacs.
  • The growth of tiny hands, legs, and the formation of eyes, nostrils, internal organs, and mouth.

8 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound No Heartbeat, Is There a Chance of Miscarriage?

Although the ultrasound at 8 weeks can provide details about the baby’s heartbeat, in some cases you might not see or hear the heartbeat. However, that does not confirm a miscarriage. The doctor might suggest a follow-up in the next week or two weeks to double-check on the heartbeat for ruling out a miscarriage.

A miscarriage can have various other symptoms, so the absence of heartbeats in the ultrasound is not the main criterion. Your doctor knows the best, so talk to your doctor and know more instead of panicking that there could be a miscarriage.

What If Any Other Abnormalities are Found on the Scan at 8 Weeks of Pregnancy? 

If the ultrasound scan shows that the baby is growing normally, you can continue with your antenatal care and meet the doctor on the scheduled dates for your routine checkup. However, in case there are any abnormalities that are found in the scan, your doctor would be the best person to consult. Generally, if the sonographer observes anything unusual, he consults fellow-sonographers or senior sonographers and obtains their opinion. You can question your sonographer or your doctor to explain to you about the course of action. Many a time, there can be minor abnormalities known as markers. These can be serious or mild variations from what is considered to be normal.

Sometimes, the doctors might ask for another scan, or they might prescribe other tests such as CVS or amniocentesis to identify the issue and the seriousness of it.

An ultrasound scan is more like a camera taking a picture of your growing baby. However, it’s good to remember that every baby is different and so the ultrasound scan reports vary from baby to baby. When in doubt, do not fret, but consult your doctor.

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