Your first pregnancy ultrasound is a milestone appointment, as this scan can help reveal critical information you need to know about your pregnancy.
Read on to learn more about what to expect during your first pregnancy ultrasound. Or, if you’re looking for free pregnancy resources or want to explore your options, contact Choose Hope Women’s Center to schedule a free, confidential appointment.
When Should I Receive My First Pregnancy Ultrasound?
Your first pregnancy ultrasound is recommended around seven to eight weeks from the date of your last menstrual period.
Getting an ultrasound is the next step if you receive a positive result on a pregnancy test.
Why Is a First Pregnancy Ultrasound Critical?
Your first ultrasound scan will tell you important information about your pregnancy, including:
- An accurate due date: Your estimate can be off even if you think you know your anticipated due date (whether by using period tracker apps or guessing based on your last menstrual period). During your first ultrasound, the nurse will take pregnancy measurements that can help provide a more accurate due date.
- A discernible heartbeat: Roughly 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it’s possible to have miscarried since receiving a positive pregnancy test result. An ultrasound will help detect a heartbeat to ensure your pregnancy is viable. If no heartbeat is detected, you will need follow-up care to ensure you don’t experience any complications.
- Location: Most pregnancies happen inside the uterus, but sometimes, a pregnancy develops outside the uterus. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy, and it’s a life-threatening situation that needs immediate medical intervention.
What Happens During an Ultrasound Appointment?
Two different types of ultrasound are used during pregnancy, depending on how far along you are: transvaginal or abdominal.
Earlier in pregnancy, transvaginal ultrasounds are used because they offer a clearer picture of the pregnancy. During a transvaginal ultrasound, the nurse will gently insert the ultrasound transducer (the wandlike part of the ultrasound machine) into your vagina—this may cause slight pressure as the nurse moves the wand to gain a picture of your pregnancy.
Abdominal ultrasound is used later in pregnancy. During an abdominal ultrasound, the nurse will squirt a jellylike substance onto your abdomen and move the transducer around.
You can see your pregnancy on the ultrasound screen during both types of ultrasound.
You’re Not Alone
Pregnancy comes with many questions and anticipation, but you’re not alone. At Choose Hope Women’s Center, we’re here for you. We offer free pregnancy resources—including ultrasound—to give you the information you need to stay healthy and informed.
Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment.