- Why Should You Have an Ultrasound at 9 Weeks?
- How to Prepare for Your 9th Week Pregnancy Scan
- How Long Does it Take to Perform an Ultrasound Scan?
- What Happens During an Ultrasound Scan?
- What Will You See on the Scan at the Ninth Week of Your Pregnancy?
- What Does It Mean to Have an Empty Yolk Sac During the 9th Week of Pregnancy?
- What If Some Abnormalities Are Discovered in the Scan?
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Congratulations! You’ve reached the third month of your pregnancy. Two months have passed and now you must be used to the feeling of being pregnant. Well, you can’t feel your baby now, but that tiny one will soon start making small movements (though you may not be able to feel them). No doubt, you must be curious to know everything you can about your baby. In your ninth week of pregnancy, your doctor will recommend an ultrasound to know the size of your growing baby. In the ultrasound scan, you will get to see a tiny blob with a heartbeat in your uterus which will eventually grow to become your baby. Read on to know more about 9-week ultrasound scan.
Why Should You Have an Ultrasound at 9 Weeks?
The first ultrasound scan which will be conducted is called dating and viability scan. This scan is performed for the following purposes.
- To check whether the baby is in the right position inside the uterus or not.
- To rule out ectopic pregnancy and confirm that it is uterine.
- A baby’s heart starts beating around 6 weeks into the pregnancy. And by the 9th week, his heartbeat can be sensed. Therefore, to check the baby’s heartbeat, an ultrasound will be conducted – it also helps a doctor determine whether the pregnancy is viable or not.
- If you experience spotting or bleeding during this time, an ultrasound scan can help determine the cause of the same.
- It can show the number of babies you are carrying. If you are having twins, it can be determined during the 9-week ultrasound scan.
- Couples who have had an IVF treatment need scans to determine successful implantation and viability of the pregnancy.
How to Prepare for Your 9th Week Pregnancy Scan
If you are having a scan around 9 weeks, it will normally be a transvaginal scan (TVS). This is because at this time your baby will be too low in the abdomen or too small for an abdominal scan in early pregnancy. A TVS will allow your doctor to scan the uterus through the vagina. To prepare for the scan, first, you will need to empty your urinary bladder. A full bladder can get in the way of a clear picture during the scan, so a nurse will ask you to use the restroom while she prepares for your scan.
Since the probing is vaginal, you will need to undress from the waist down. It’s suggested that you wear loose clothing such as a long top with slacks or loose pants to avoid being fully undressed.
How Long Does it Take to Perform an Ultrasound Scan?
A typical scan would last for about 20 to 30 minutes. However, if the doctor has a hard time to get clear pictures, it might take a little longer. But, there’s no need to worry about it as women find transvaginal scans more comfortable than abdominal scans.
What Happens During an Ultrasound Scan?
During the ultrasound scan, you will be asked to lie down on an examination table or a bed. You will need to raise your knees in a position that the soles of your feet are flat on the bed. Your legs need to be kept apart, so the doctor has space to perform the scan. This is about the same position you’d take during an internal examination.
The probe will be covered with a sterile latex sheath that resembles a condom, and a lubricant gel will be applied on it so that it passes through the vagina with ease and generate clear pictures. The probe will be inserted two to three inches into the vagina to perform the scan. Although the procedure might feel a bit awkward, if you relax, it will be easier for your doctor to insert the probe. If you tense up your muscles, it can become uncomfortable and painful. So remember to take deep breaths and try to relax.
What Will You See on the Scan at the Ninth Week of Your Pregnancy?
Here is what you can expect in your 9-week ultrasound scan:
- Your baby will measure about 2.3 cm and weigh close to 2 grams.
- You will be able to see his head, body, and limbs. By now your baby will no more be an embryo and will be a foetus.
- The heartbeat of a foetus can also be picked up in a 9-week ultrasound scan. It will be usually around 130 to 150 beats per second.
- Your doctor will carefully examine the region around the gestational sac for any bleeding; a condition called subchorionic hematoma.
What Does It Mean to Have an Empty Yolk Sac During the 9th Week of Pregnancy?
The yolk sac envelops the developing foetus and the amniotic fluid. The yolk sac is contained within the gestational sac and is a source of nutrition for the developing foetus in early pregnancy. It is not visible until about 5 to 6 weeks into the gestation; hence it is a marker of the age of the foetus. When no yolk sac is seen around 6 weeks, it may be because there has been an error in remembering the dates of your last period. The doctor will then schedule another scan in a week or two to confirm the presence of a yolk sac. If it is still not seen around 9 weeks of pregnancy, then it is could be a sign of miscarriage. Sometimes there is no need to wait until the follow-up scan, if the 9-week ultrasound pictures show the gestational sac of about 25 mm or more, and there’s no yolk sac or embryo, the doctor will diagnose a miscarriage immediately.
What If Some Abnormalities Are Discovered in the Scan?
Scans can sometimes be inconclusive, hence there are strict guidelines that should be followed. Since doctors adhere to these guidelines, their findings are absolutely sure. Doctors look for minor abnormalities in the scans called “markers” that can indicate a more serious problem or could be just a variation of what is considered normal. So, if they find anything unusual, they may ask you to take tests such as CVS or amniocentesis to check if the chromosomes in the baby are normal.
If the foetus does have a serious problem, you can take time to think through your choices. They may include termination of pregnancy, preparing for a baby who might have special needs, or in extremely rare cases, carrying out a surgery on the foetus.
Ultrasound scans are extremely important to rule out problems and confirm a healthy pregnancy. So do not skip any. Go for ultrasound scans, get everything checked, and have a healthy and safe pregnancy!
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