9 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

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9 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan

When you are nine weeks pregnant, your doctor will recommend you an ultrasound to know the size of your growing baby. On doing an ultrasound, you will get to see a tiny blob with a heartbeat in your uterus which will eventually grow to become your baby. Two scans are normally done during the first trimester.

Purpose to Have 9 Week Ultrasound Scan

Your first ultrasound scan called dating and viability scan is done to check the following things:

  • To see if the baby is in the right position inside the uterus.
  • To rule out ectopic pregnancy and confirm that it is uterine.
  • By now the baby’s heartbeat can be sensed, and this is one of the first signs that your pregnancy is viable. Your baby’s heart starts beating around 6 weeks into the pregnancy.
  • If you’ve experienced spotting or bleeding recently, an ultrasound scan can be used to determine the cause.
  • It can show the number of babies you are carrying. If you are having twins, it can be determined in a 9-week ultrasound scan.
  • Couples who have had an IVF treatment need scans to determine successful implantation and viability of the pregnancy.

Preparation for Your 9 Week Pregnancy Scan

If you are having a scan around 9 weeks, it will normally be a transvaginal scan (TVS). This is because the baby is too low in the abdomen or too small for an abdominal scan in early pregnancy. A TVS allows the doctor to scan the uterus through the vagina. To prepare for the scan, first, you need to have an empty 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 better to wear loose fitting clothing such as a long top with slacks or loose pants to avoid being fully undressed.

A doctor performing ultrasound scan

How Long Does It Take to Do 9 Week Ultrasound?

A typical scan would take about 20 to 30 minutes to perform. However, if the doctor has a hard time to get clear pictures, it will take a little longer. But, there’s no need to worry about it as women find transvaginal scans more comfortable than abdominal scans.

How Is Nine Week Ultrasound Scan Performed?

You’ll be made to lie on your back on a bed. Your knees will be in a raised position with the soles of your feet 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 is covered with a sterile latex sheath that resembles a condom, and a lubricant gel is applied to it to ease its passage into the vagina 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 awkward, if you relax, it’s easier for the doctor to insert the probe. If you tense up your muscles, it can become uncomfortable and painful. Take deep breaths and relax.

What You Can See on the Scan at Ninth Week of Pregnancy

Here is what to expect in a 9-week ultrasound scan:

  • Your baby measures about 2.3 cm and weighs close to 2 grams.
  • The head, body, and limbs can be seen. 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 is usually around 130 to 150 beats per second.
  • Doctors carefully examine the region around the gestational sac for any bleeding; a condition called subchorionic hematoma.

What Does Empty Yolk Sac at 9 Week Ultrasound Mean?

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 might as well mean that 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 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 is about 25 mm or more and there’s no yolk sac or embryo, the doctor will diagnose a miscarriage immediately.

What If Any Other Abnormalities Are Found in the Scan?

Scans can sometimes be inconclusive, and pregnancies can differ a little bit from the norm, hence there are strict guidelines to be followed for the scans. 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.

First-trimester ultrasound scans are extremely important to rule out problems and confirm a healthy pregnancy.

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