Ultrasound Examination in Early Pregnancy


Ultrasound examination in early pregnancy is performed for pregnancy confirmation and determination of estimated delivery date. This examination is usually conducted from 6th week of pregnancy in all pregnant women and in particular, it is recommended if a woman complains of lower abdominal pain and/or backpain or bloody discharge from vagina.

Conditions for conduction of the examination

• In early pregnancy ultrasound examination is performed at 7-10 weeks of gestational age. In most cases this examination is carried out by transabdominal approach, which means that an image is received from a pregnant woman"s abdomen via transducer. 
• In some cases (for instance to exclude ectopic pregnancy) this examination may be required to be conducted by transvaginal approach.

What information is obtained by ultrasound examination performed in early pregnancy? 

• determination of multiple pregnancy
• fetal heartbeat detection
• determination of sizes of gestational sac or embryo that gives the possibility to define gestational age of pregnancy

Indication for conduction of the Examination

• Determination of gestation age

• Bleeding or bloody descharge from vagina
• Pain
• History of spontaneous abortions in early pregnancy
• History of ectopic pregnancies
How to prepare for the examination?
Urinary bladder should be filled in order to receive better images during transabdominal examination.

What is the next examination?

The following ultrasound examination is performed at 11/07-13 6/7 weeks of gestational age, when nuchal traslucency is determined. This examination offers an opportunity to assess the risks for development of Downs" syndrome, as well as Edwards" syndrome and Patau"s syndrome. In order to reveal Downs" syndrome in pregnant women at risk, so-called "combined test" may be offered, which includes determination of the above-mentioned nuchal translucency, beta chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and pregnancy associated plasma protein "PAPP-A". "Combined test" is to be made at 11/07-13 6/7 weeks of gestational age. This test gives a chance to calculate the risk for Downs" syndrome with accuracy of 95% taking into account a mother"s age.