Ultrasound Examination in Early Pregnancy


Ultrasound examination in early pregnancy is performed for confirmation of intrauterine pregnancy 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 vaginal spotting/bleeding.

Conditions for conduction of the examination

• In early pregnancy ultrasound examination is performed at 7-10th weeks of gestational age. In most cases this examination is carried out by transabdominal approach.
• 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 multifetal pregnancy.
• Confirmation of fetal heartbeat.
• Measurment of gestational sac and embryo that determines gestational age of pregnancy.
Indication for examination

• To confirm the presence of intrauterine pregnancy and determine gestation age. 

• To evaluate vaginal bleeding/spotting.

• To evaluate pelvic pain.

• History of ectopic pregnancies, history of recurrent pregnancy loss.
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 Down syndrome, as well as Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome. In order to assess the risk of Down syndrome in pregnant women, 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" should be performed at 11/07-13 6/7 weeks of gestational age. This test gives an opportunity to calculate the risk for Down syndrome with accuracy rate of 95% taking into account a mother"s age.