We are open for business and are following NSW Health guidelines. Please note that children are unable to accompany patients during the scan. | OMNI COVID19 STATEMENT

Understanding the Role of Ultrasound in Early Pregnancy Detection

Ultrasound in Early Pregnancy Detection

Ultrasound technology has developed and improved over time to confirm and monitor pregnancies. During pregnancy, ultrasound is used as a non-invasive diagnostic tool that creates images of the internal organs. For individuals newly pregnant or attempting conception, ultrasound plays a critical role in early pregnancy detection.

How Soon a Pregnancy Can Be Detected on Ultrasound

A doctor or ultrasonographer can detect a pregnancy from as early as five and a half to six weeks from the last menstrual cycle. In these first stages of a pregnancy, an ultrasound will show a gestational sac that houses the developing embryo in the uterus. By the sixth week, it may be possible to view the embryo or fetal pole.

The Importance of Early Pregnancy Ultrasound

An early pregnancy ultrasound is instrumental in confirming whether a pregnancy is viable, the location of the embryo, and the gestational age of the fetus. For women who are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, an early ultrasound is critical. These initial screenings help detect life-threatening ectopic pregnancies in which the embryo implants outside the uterus. In addition, early ultrasounds help to predict other potential complications and the number of embryos. Low-risk pregnancies usually only require an ultrasound from eight weeks onwards.

What Early Pregnancy Ultrasounds Show

An early pregnancy ultrasound can detect the signs of a developing embryo, from the first electromagnetic pulses to the size of the gestational sac and embryo. Along with the embryo’s presence, location, and size, this ultrasound will also help doctors examine the thickness of the endometrial lining and the overall health of the uterus and the ovaries. All this information contributes to the doctor’s understanding of the pregnancy’s progression.

What Does an Early Pregnancy Ultrasound Look Like?

Early pregnancy ultrasounds can be especially difficult to decipher without the help of a doctor. The black, white, and grey images show various tissues and internal structures. The gestational sac is a dark, fluid-filled space, while the fetal pole appears as white circles or lines in the sac. A range of factors may affect how visible these structures are, such as the type of ultrasound performed, the mother’s body type, and the accuracy of the menstrual cycle dates. As the embryo develops, the details become clearer. The earliest ultrasounds are primarily used to confirm the pregnancy, ensure it isn’t an ectopic pregnancy, and take measurements.

Types of Early Pregnancy Ultrasounds

There are two types of pregnancy ultrasounds performed on women: abdominal and transvaginal. During an abdominal ultrasound, the ultrasound transducer is moved along the woman’s abdomen to produce an image. During a transvaginal ultrasound, a smaller wand-like transducer is inserted into the vagina. A transvaginal ultrasound is more commonly performed during the early stages of pregnancy as it produces a clearer image. This is because the transducer is closer to the reproductive organs.

In the early stages, ultrasound is the best way to assess and confirm a pregnancy. It confirms whether the pregnancy is viable, if there are potential complications, and what the gestational age is. This imaging method helps doctors ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and fetus. If you are in the early stages of pregnancy, contact a clinic with a team of experienced doctors who can perform early pregnancy ultrasounds.

Book an appointment

Call Omni today on 1300 851 968

Three convenient locations

St Leonards Clinic
Telephone

1300 851 968

Fax

1300 851 971

Address

Ground Floor
Suite 2/8 Northcote St
St Leonards NSW 2065

Penrith Clinic
Telephone

1300 851 968

Fax

1300 851 971

Address

Level 2, Suite 2.01
Somerset Hospital, 38 Somerset Street
Kingswood NSW 2747

SYDNEY CBD ULTRASOUND CLINIC
Telephone

1300 851 968

Fax

1300 851 971

Address

Suite 1005, Level 10
229 Macquarie St
Sydney NSW 2000

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care