Which Scan Is Best For Early Pregnancy?
If you are here to learn which scan is best for early pregnancy, I would be obliged to help. Well, ultrasound is the imaging test to serves best for diagnosing your early pregnancy!
Practitioners likely wait five to six weeks to conduct the first pregnancy ultrasound. At that time, your doctor & you can see the fetal heart in the image. Your doctor would also want to check the position of the fetus in your uterus. Of course, it is a part of your parental care too! You need to know your baby is right and safe!
So, here goes all that you need to know about ultrasound during your early pregnancy!
What Is An Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a medical imaging modality that uses high-energy sound waves to scan the internal body organs and tissues. Herein, it is an early pregnancy ultrasound, diagnosing your “Little Fingers” growth! The sound waves make an echo and, in their forms, the picture of the uterus, ovaries, gestational sac, and embryo within you. Yes. Your pelvic organs, I mean!
An ultrasound is also called sonography. It is a painless, non-invasive test; done on an outpatient basis, and there’s no need for a hospital stay. A team of radiology caregivers is likely to perform the test. The team consists of a radiologist who supervises, a radiology technician who conducts the scan, and other staff.
During this scan, you shall have to lie down. Then, a caregiver shall apply a water-based gel on your belly and pelvic area and thereupon move a handheld probe over that area. The gel acts as a facilitator of the probe in transmitting sound waves. As a result, the sound waves bounce off your pelvic organs and the developing baby, creating the image of the computer screen. That’s it! It shall take a maximum of 20 minutes, maybe!
What Types of Ultrasound Do Doctors Prefer During Early Pregnancy?
Many medical experts argue that the pregnancy images are more clear in a transvaginal ultrasound than in a transabdominal one. However, your doctor may recommend the latter depending on what she analyzes during your physical examination in your first trimester.
A transvaginal ultrasound is a minimally-invasive process but is equally safe as the transabdominal non-invasive ultrasound method. During the scan, the caregiver inserts a wand-like tube into your vagina. The wand-like instrument is called a transducer. And it releases sound waves that bounce off, creating images!
According to research, a transvaginal ultrasound is 90% accurate in diagnosing pregnancy location in your uterus. Many studies also note that a transvaginal ultrasound during early pregnancy can help detect ectopic pregnancy conditions with above 73.9% accuracy rate. On the contrary, studies at Science Direct show that a transabdominal ultrasound holds above 90% sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing early pregnancy conditions.
So, following what your doctor says is more salient herein!
What Does Ultrasound Show During Early Pregnancy?
An Early Pregnancy Ultrasound takes place from the 5th or 6th week to the 12th week of pregnancy. During this span, an ultrasound shows the growth of the fetus.
- An ultrasound detects fetal heartbeat. Such a facet can help your doctor confirm the pregnancy and even determine how far you are in your pregnancy (or the gestational age of your baby).
- An early pregnancy ultrasound can show whether you have one pregnancy or multiple.
- It can help your doctor look for anomalies, if any, like ectopic pregnancy, where the fetus grows beyond the ovaries, typically in the fallopian tube. Or, maybe, an abnormal growth in the fetus!
- An early pregnancy ultrasound can also diagnose miscarriage.
- During your early pregnancy, it can help your doctor calculate the expected due dates.
How to Prepare For an Ultrasound During Early Pregnancy?
Well, no matter which week of the first trimester it is, an early pregnancy ultrasound does not require any special preparation. However, you must consult healthcare professionals to know what preparation methods to follow.
Just like your doctor knows which scan is best for early pregnancy for you specifically, she knows if you need to stop or continue a medication. What food you can eat, when to eat before an early pregnancy ultrasound, and more!
- Your doctor may also recommend a low-fat dinner for the evening or the night before the test. It means you have to say no to fried, fatty, and greasy foods for a day before early pregnancy ultrasound!
- Your doctor may ask you not to eat anything for about 12 hours before the ultrasound appointment.
- The radiology center may ask you to visit for the test with a full bladder and not use the restroom before the test. Perhaps, it can give a better view of the fetus, as per studies. Typically, they ask you to drink 28 to 32 ounces of water one hour before the exam.
- Apart from that, medical experts say not to wear tight clothes for the early pregnancy ultrasound as you may never know whether they provide a gown.
- In the case of transvaginal ultrasound, you may even shave and come if that makes you feel more comfortable.
Why Ultrasound, and Why Not Other Imaging Tests?
An ultrasound is a top doctor’s choice on which scan is best for early pregnancy, and that’s not out of the blue! An ultrasound has major plus points that other scanning method lack!
Undoubtedly when it comes to early pregnancy, the first concern to pop up in using a machine for physical analysis is safety. Unlike those X-rays and Computed Tomography (CT scan), or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans, an ultrasound does not inculcate radiation exposure.
Ultrasound does not create any claustrophobic situation like in the case of Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI test, where you have to lie down inside a semi-circular tube-shaped scanner. Herein, on the contrary, a probe or a traducer is enough to serve! It is quick and less expensive compared to MRI and more easily accessible too!
Are you here, reading and learning about early pregnancy ultrasound? Well, it’s time to wrap up now. Do keep in touch with your doctor and follow what she asks you to do for a healthy pregnancy! If you have more queries regarding an early pregnancy scan, feel free to write to us at [email protected].