What To Expect from Your First Pregnancy Ultrasound

A pregnancy test may show a positive result, but mothers may not feel pregnant until they get to look at the developing embryo. Once a mother knows she is pregnant, she can schedule the first ultrasound and steadily get the information needed to put her mind at ease and ensure a happy, healthy pregnancy. Before heading to the doctor, women might want to know what to expect from the first pregnancy ultrasound, so let’s discuss it.

What Is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is the technology that has been allowing women and doctors to see and monitor fetuses’ since the late 50s. Doctors use all the information ultrasounds provide to benefit the baby and mother. Ultrasound uses sound waves that will bounce off your baby’s bones, tissue, and fluids; and translate them into an image of the fetus. An ultrasound can be conducted transvaginally or transabdominally – internally or externally.

When Do You Get Your First Ultrasound?

Women who are typically at a higher risk of miscarriage or have chronic conditions may get their first ultrasound as early as six weeks into their pregnancy. Other women may wait until they are eight weeks pregnant before going for their first ultrasound. The first ultrasound usually falls within the first eight to twelve weeks of pregnancy.

What To Expect from Your First Ultrasound

If the doctor recommends an early pregnancy ultrasound, they are likely to perform a transvaginal ultrasound. The sonographer will use a small wand-like transducer and insert it vaginally to get a scan of the fetus and uterus. The doctor will typically recommend an external ultrasound on the stomach from about week seven, also known as a transabdominal ultrasound. An ultrasound shouldn’t hurt, although the sonographer may have to apply some pressure to the abdomen and move the wand around the vaginal cavity to capture a clearer image. From here, there is a lot of information to be gathered about the health of the mother and the fetus.

With your first ultrasound your doctor will:

  • Give an estimated due date.
  • Rule out an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Check how many embryos are present.
  • Check the heartbeat.
  • Measure the fetus.
  • Check whether your fetus is developing as expected.
  • Perform a nuchal translucency test.

How To Prepare for an Ultrasound

An ultrasound doesn’t require much on the part of the mother. The doctor will expect the mother to arrive with a full bladder, and they may suggest eating something sugary beforehand to get the baby moving for the exam. These two simple steps will help the sonographer get a better picture of the baby.

An ultrasound is the first and only glimpse a woman will get of her developing baby before the birth, making each ultrasound a vital opportunity to connect with the baby and gather as much medical information as possible. If you are pregnant or need reproductive healthcare, OMNI is an ultrasound and gynaecological clinic with offices in Sydney, St Leonards, and Penrith. To book an appointment, get in touch with us today.

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.