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At around seven weeks of pregnancy, it’s reasonably common for women to have their first ultrasound.
This can be for many reasons but the most common is to confirm pregnancy and to check that the embryo is viable and “everything’s ok”.
Crown/rump length and gestational age are closely compared with each other until around the end of the first trimester.
The ideal time for a sonographer to assess the gestational age in the first trimester is between 7-10 weeks of pregnancy.
A duration of only a week can make a significant difference in terms of what can and can’t be seen.
At seven weeks of gestation it is still too early to identify what gender (sex) the baby will be.
Other reasons to have a 7 week ultrasound are to: The embryo will be measured from the top of its head, the “crown” to its bottom or “rump”.
This is because it is the longest portion of the embryo’s body and provides an ideal measurement baseline of growth and development.
However, general “mass” structures such as a head and body can generally be seen in the embryo at seven weeks.
There are two ways of having a seven week ultrasound.
One is via the abdomen – transabdominally and the other is through the vagina – transvaginally.
This is because although every little embryo is unique, there are still defining characteristics of development which apply to all embryos at particular stages of early gestational development.
As the embryo matures to a foetus, individual genetics and growth factors influence its growth.The limbs and the yolk sac, though obviously important, are not the primary means of measuring growth.