Have you recently discovered that you are pregnant? Are you worried about the various ultrasound scans you will be required to conduct through your pregnancy? Are you concerned about knowing when to do them and if at all they are required?
While you are pregnant, your doctor will request a few scans for you. The time and number of scans will depend on the progress and smoothness of your pregnancy. It will also depend on your baby and your health. An early pregnancy scan will help.
What Does An Ultrasound Scan Do?
You may never have had an ultrasound scan before. Now that you are pregnant, there is no need to worry.
The ultrasound scan will use sound waves to help bring up a picture of your baby inside your womb. This is not a painful procedure. It will in no way harm you or your baby. Till date there have been no side effects from ultrasound scans to either the mother or the baby (1). Your doctor will be the right person to guide you about when should the first scan be done in pregnancy.
[ Read: What Is A 4d Ultrasound Test ]
When Will I Have My Early Pregnancy Scan?
Your doctor will first have a discussion with you to understand your medical history and any family histories of pregnancy related complications. Your doctor may recommend you an early scan only if you have had a miscarriage earlier or experienced bleeding in the first few weeks of pregnancy. This will most likely happen between week 6 and week 10 of your pregnancy .
What Can I Expect?
The early pregnancy ultrasound scan will most likely be a vaginal scan instead of the regular tummy one. This is because it will help your doctor get a better image of your baby in the earlier stages of your pregnancy . You may ask your partner to accompany you. In case you are not comfortable, you may also request for a female doctor to perform the scan.
[ Read: What Is A Transvaginal Scan ]
When Will I Have The Next Of My Early Ultrasound Scan?
Unless your doctor thinks otherwise, you will not be required to do an early ultrasound scan.
The first pregnancy ultrasound scan will be around the time you are 12 weeks pregnant. This ultrasound test is also sometimes known as the ‘dating’ scan. This is because it helps your doctor to place an estimate about the date of delivery. This will be your Estimated Delivery Date or EDD .
The second ultrasound scan will be around the time you are between week 18 and week 21 of your pregnancy . This ultrasound test is also sometimes known as the ‘anomaly’ scan. This is because it will help your doctor to check for any structural abnormalities, known as anomalies, in your baby.
What Can I Expect During The EDD Scan?
While you are getting your dating scan done, the sonographer will ask you to lie down on your back and apply some gel on your tummy. Your doctor will hold a device known as transducer in the hand and move this on your tummy. This will help your doctor get an image of your baby. This particular ultrasound scan will help your doctor to measure the length of your baby’s crown ramp. The crown ramp length means your baby’s length from head to the bottom.
How Do These Early Scans Help My Unborn Baby?
Ultrasound scans are an extremely important part of pre natal care. The early ultrasound scans will help your doctor confirm a uterine pregnancy and also monitor fetal heartbeat.
The other ways in which an ultrasound scan will help are:
- Checking your baby’s size
- Confirming your current week of pregnancy.
- Check for multiple pregnancies
Your doctor will need to refer you for an ultrasound scan while you are pregnant. You will be required to show an authorized letter before you get an ultrasound scan done. This is to ensure that you have your doctor’s permission for the first ultrasound scan during pregnancy.
Speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding the early pregnancy scans. Rest assured, it will not harm your baby or you.
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