Early pregnancy signs on ultrasound

Gestational sac

TheВ gestational sac (GS) is the first sign of early pregnancy on ultrasound and can be seen with endovaginal ultrasound at approximately 3-5 weeks gestation when the mean sac diameter (MSD)В would approximately measure 2-3 mm in diameter.

A true gestational sac can be distinguished from a pseudogestational sacВ by noting:

its normal eccentric location: it is embedded in endometrium, rather than centrally within the uterine cavity

However, caution should be exercised with a diagnosis of a pseudogestational sac. In a woman with a positive beta-hCG, any intrauterine sac-like fluid collection seen on ultrasound is highly likely to be a gestational sac 3 .

Some suggest that if the beta-hCG level is >1800 mIU/ml (second international standard) a transabdominal ultrasound should be able to identify an intrauterine gestational sac, however, this value is debatable, and beta-hCG levels >2000 (or even >3000) without a visualized intrauterine gestational sac does not rule out an intrauterine pregnancy 4 . Treatment for a suspected failed pregnancy should not be initiated on a hemodynamically stable woman on the basis of a single beta-hCG level 5 .

If one cannot identify a yolk sac at a mean gestational sac diameter of 16-24 mm, this is suspicious for, though not diagnostic of a failed early pregnancy.

Early pregnancy signs on ultrasound

Early pregnancy signs on ultrasound

Ultrasound -the only method to diagnose a developing pregnancy in the early stages. A pregnancy test can be positive and ectopic, and missed abortion, and after ultrasound in early pregnancy can be clearly seen what happens in the womb.

What can be seen on ultrasound in early pregnancy?

Up to 3 weeks of pregnancy, an ultrasound pregnancy have not yet seen, except on the vaginal probe. But if a woman is interested in the continuation of the pregnancy, the vaginal probe are not commonly used, so as not to cause a miscarriage. After 3 weeks on a conventional ultrasound is already visible fertilized egg looks like a black round ball in the uterus.

Early diagnosis of pregnancy by ultrasound

In early pregnancy, an ultrasound of the uterus is clear ovum size:

  • in 3 weeks -0.8 cm;
  • 4 weeks -1.4 cm;
  • 5 weeks -2.0 cm;
  • 6 weeks -2.7 cm;
  • 7 weeks -3.4 cm;
  • 8 weeks -4.0 cm;
  • in 9 weeks -4.7 cm,
  • 10 weeks -5.3 cm,
  • 11 weeks -6.0 cm;
  • 12 weeks -6.7 cm;
  • after 12 weeks of pregnancy, the fertilized egg not measure.

fertilized egg should be in the womb. If a positive pregnancy test in the uterine cavity of the ovum does not find it necessary to look into the fallopian tubes ectopic pregnancy.

The fetus on ultrasound in early pregnancy

In addition to the ovum, with 6 weeks of pregnancy the embryo is visible, and begin to measure. In accordance with the size of the gestational sac and embryo tables determine the gestational age by ultrasound. Embryo is measured from the crown to the coccyx bone in length, while the legs do not measure the size of this is called kopchikivo-parietal CTE:

  • 6 to 7 weeks of pregnancy CTE 7-10 mm;
  • 7 to 8 weeks CTE 11-15 mm;
  • 8 to 9 weeks CTE 16-22 mm;
  • 9 to 10 weeks CTE 23-31 mm;
  • 10 to 11 weeks CTE 32-41 mm;
  • 11 to 12 weeks CTE 42-53 mm;
  • 12 to 13 weeks CTE 54-66 mm;
  • 13 to 14 weeks CTE 67-80 mm.

If the CTE is greater than 80, you do not measure it, and the size of the fetus has to be others outside the table to determine the gestational age. In addition to measuring the CTE, which should increase with gestation, the developing pregnancy is determined also by the heartbeat of the fetus, which appears 5-6 weeks, can be seen on ultrasound at 7-8 weeks and have to come with 9 weeks of pregnancy from a living embryo. If the heartbeat is not detected up to 9 weeks, you can assign a control ultrasound after 10 days, if it is not re-examination, in addition does not increase the CTE and the ovum -pregnancy froze.

In conducting ultrasound in early pregnancy 7 weeks define the first movements of the fetus. First, it is irregular twitching, with 8 weeks of this movement of the trunk, and from 9-10 weeks -movement and extension of limbs.

In addition to these dimensions, during early pregnancy ultrasound measures the three uterine size length, width and thickness, examine its shape. In this case, note that there are no segmental contractions, peeling the ovum, any entities in the uterus and ovaries, the uterus walls. We measured the thickness of the fetal neck folds for the early diagnosis of Down`s syndrome, the thickness of the chorion future placenta. Early pregnancy signs on ultrasound

twins ultrasound in early pregnancy has its own features: Up to 6 weeks determining one egg in the uterus or more. When there are embryos separately follow the development of each of them. If the early stages of the fertilized egg was one thing, but with 7 weeks 2 embryo appear, then check how many fetal eggs at them and chorions. If the ovum and chorion one, the fruit is inspected for the presence of adhesions, over time -there is no malformations.

It is believed that ultrasound in early pregnancy is harmful, especially because fetal tissue can be heated and damaged. This is especially true of the rich liquid tissues such as the brain of the child. But ultrasonography already in the early stages to identify serious birth defects, many of which are incompatible with the life of the unborn child.

Early Pregnancy Scan

Early pregnancy signs on ultrasound

Early pregnancy signs on ultrasound

Early Pregnancy Scan

Early pregnancy signs on ultrasoundEarly pregnancy signs on ultrasound

An Early Pregnancy Scan (sometimes called a Viability Scan or Dating Scan) is often done to provide reassurance in the very early stages of your pregnancy. You can have an Early Pregnancy Scan any time from 6 weeks onwards as we should see a heartbeat although, at this stage it is very small (approximately 5mm). These dates are calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP), not the day of conception. Before 5 weeks it is not possible to see any signs of a pregnancy with current ultrasound technology. Waiting a few weeks will allow you to see more, and if all looks good at 8 weeks you will be reassured to know the chance of miscarriage is very low. If you are unsure of dates or have an irregular menstrual cycle you may wish to wait 2 weeks from a positive pregnancy test to be sure of seeing signs of a pregnancy.

Why have an Early Pregnancy Scan?

Early Pregnancy Scans are not routinely offered on the NHS but you may have one privately without affecting your NHS entitlement. Sometimes it is requested by a doctor or midwife to confirm that your pregnancy is healthy (in this case your scan is often called a viability scan) and to calculate the date when your baby is due (usually referred to as a dating scan). It can be also performed to confirm the results of a pregnancy test or just to provide you with some reassurance that all is progressing as it should.

Generally the reasons for having an Early Pregnancy Scan are to:

Confirm the viability of the pregnancy (check that there is a heartbeat present).

Establish the number of babies (exclude a multiple pregnancy).

Check the site of the pregnancy i.e, exclude ectopic pregnancy.

Calculate the gestational age of the pregnancy.

Bleeding/spotting or unusual pain

About your Early Pregnancy Scan

Early pregnancy scans are normally performed trans-abdominally (through your tummy) however, an internal scan may be required at earlier gestations i.e. 6-7 weeks or if your womb tilts backwards (retroverted). This is safe for both you and the baby and should not be painful although we will always try trans-abdominally first.

If for any reason the sonographer is unable to provide a clinical diagnosis on the day, you will be informed of this and the possible reasons why. A full detailed report will be provided explaining the scan results. You may be advised to have a further scan to enable a diagnosis to be made in approximately 1-2 weeks, you may wish to return to Premier Scans for this however the early pregnancy scan fee applies (£65) or you may wish to discuss the scan findings with your GP/midwife. If an abnormality is detected or suspected on your scan the Sonographer will discuss this with you. You will be given a report to take away and an appointment will be arranged for you at the hospital within a few days. You will then be scanned again, once a diagnosis has been made the management of the pregnancy will be discussed further.

Preparation: Please try to attend with a moderately full bladder as this may improve the visibility of the scan trans-abdominally.

Appointment length: Approximately 20 minutes, of which you can expect 5 to 10 minutes of scanning time.

What’s included in your Early Pregnancy Scan

  • Immediate results: A detailed report confirming all the scan findings will be produced including appropriate measurements.
  • Pictures: 4 x Black and white 2D Thermal images available free of charge

What’s not included in your Early Pregnancy Scan

  • DVD: Not available.
  • CD-ROM: Not included (but this may be purchased separately for an additional fee of £10).
  • Fetal Sexing: Not available, please refer to Gender/Sexing Scans.

Is it easy to make an appointment?

We offer morning, afternoon and occasional evening appointments during the week as well as Saturday and occasional Sunday appointments. We have a wide range of availability at our clinic in Lichfield therefore, we will always try to accommodate short notice appointments.

More about Early Pregnancy Scans:

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Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

Early pregnancy signs on ultrasound

Patient is a certified member of

The Information Standard

Shalini Patni, 28 Feb 2017

Pregnancy tests are very sensitive so it is common to find out that you are pregnant before you develop any signs or symptoms of pregnancy. However, as your pregnancy continues you are likely to experience various symptoms and signs.

In this article

  • arrow-downHow do I know I am pregnant?
  • arrow-downWhat are the common symptoms and signs of early pregnancy?
  • arrow-downWhat should I do when I find out that I am pregnant?

Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

In this article

How do I know I am pregnant?

Pregnancy tests are available from chemists and supermarkets and are very sensitive. They test for the presence of a hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-hCG) in your urine. Beta-hCG is produced by your body when an egg (which has been fertilised by a sperm) attaches and fixes itself (implants itself) into the wall of your womb (uterus).

Different makes of pregnancy tests vary in how sensitive they are. The more sensitive ones can become positive when you are only a few days pregnant. However, a negative test does not mean that you are not pregnant; it may just mean that the levels of this hormone are not high enough to be detected by the test.

As pregnancy tests vary in how you use them, it is important to read the instructions carefully before you do the test.

If your first pregnancy test is negative but you think you may be pregnant then you should repeat the pregnancy test one week later. If you have a positive pregnancy test, this does not need to be repeated by a doctor or a midwife.

Early Pregnancy Q&A

How long does it take to get symptoms of pregnancy? What can cause the same symptoms of pregnancy? What are the different stages of pregnancy? All your questions answered.

What are the common symptoms and signs of early pregnancy?

The symptoms of early pregnancy vary tremendously between women. Some women hardly have any symptoms, whereas others have very severe symptoms. It is impossible to predict which women will have more severe symptoms. However, in general, if you are expecting twins or triplets then it is likely that your symptoms will be more severe.

Extreme tiredness is often the most common sign of an early pregnancy. Although it is common to become more tired in the later stages of pregnancy, this extreme tiredness and lack of energy (lethargy) usually last for the first twelve weeks (first trimester). They usually then improve.

Urinary symptoms and constipation

You may notice that you need to pass urine more frequently than you used to. This is actually due to the effect of the beta-hCG hormone which makes your kidneys work harder to produce more urine. This is different to the reason you will need to pass urine more often in the later stages of pregnancy, which is due to the baby’s head pressing on your bladder.

Note: if you experience any burning, stinging or a high temperature (fever) with these urinary symptoms, contact your doctor or midwife. Urine infections are common when you are pregnant. Your doctor or midwife will arrange to test your urine for an infection. See separate leaflet called Urine Infection in Pregnancy for more information.

It can be common to find that you are more constipated than usual in the early stages of pregnancy. This is due to the chemical (hormone) progesterone making your bowel more relaxed and sluggish. It is important to have a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy. If you do become constipated then you should eat more foods with lots of fibre in them, like wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables. Make sure you are drinking enough fluids, especially water.

Breast tenderness

Another very early sign of pregnancy is breast tenderness. You may find that just the water from your shower on your breasts makes them feel uncomfortable and very tender. You may also find that you wake in the night when you roll on to your front because your breasts are tender. Your breasts may tingle at times or even have stabbing pains in them. You may also notice that your breasts become bigger and more swollen over the first few weeks of pregnancy. As your pregnancy develops it is common to notice some veins under the surface of your skin over your breasts. This is entirely normal.

After a few weeks you may notice that the coloured skin around your nipples (the areolae) becomes darker.

Feeling sick (nausea)

Although most women think that feeling sick is the first sign of being pregnant, it is more common to develop other symptoms first. Feeling sick usually starts around the sixth week of your pregnancy. This can, however, vary between pregnancies in the same woman as well as between different women. You may find that you are being sick (vomiting) as well as feeling sick. The amount and frequency really does vary between women and can also be different (worse or better) in later pregnancies.

This sickness is commonly referred to as morning sickness. It is more common to experience feeling sick only in the mornings. However, you may find that this feeling continues throughout the afternoons and even into the evenings. See separate leaflet called Morning Sickness in Pregnancy for more information.

Food cravings

You may find that you crave certain foods during your pregnancy or even go off some foods. Some women experience a metallic taste in their mouth. You are likely to have a heightened sense of smell during your early pregnancy. This may make any feelings of sickness that you have worse.


The changes in hormone levels in early pregnancy may make you feel more moody and irritable than usual.

Missed period

Although this has always been the most obvious sign of pregnancy, many women now find out they are pregnant before they miss their first period.

Many women may have a small amount of bleeding (spotting) at the time of their missed period. This is sometimes called an ‘implantation bleed’. It happens when the fertilised egg attaches and fixes itself (implants itself) in the wall of your womb (uterus). It is harmless.

However, if you have any spotting or heavy bleeding when you are pregnant then you should let your doctor or midwife know. In some cases further tests (for example, a scan) are necessary. This is because bleeding can sometimes be a sign of a miscarriage. See separate leaflet called Miscarriage and Bleeding in Early Pregnancy for more information. Less commonly it can be the first symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. ‘Ectopic’ refers to a pregnancy which occurs outside the womb. See separate leaflet called Ectopic Pregnancy for more information.

Due Date Calculator

Get an estimated date of delivery for your baby based on your last period.

What should I do when I find out that I am pregnant?

Once your pregnancy has been confirmed by a pregnancy test then you should contact your doctor’s surgery. They will arrange for you to see your doctor or midwife. Usually you will be seen by a midwife at around twelve weeks of your pregnancy. They will see you at your surgery, at a children’s centre or at home. It is rare nowadays to have to go to a hospital to see a midwife.

How do you tell your boss you're pregnant?

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of patient.info

It is important to have a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy. This includes healthy eating and taking folic acid and vitamin D supplements. See separate leaflet called Diet and Lifestyle during Pregnancy for more details.

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