Every pregnant woman wants to know her due date , and a due date that is calculated from her last menstrual period with a due date calculator often doesn't match the due date that is estimated by her first ultrasound also known as a sonogram. During an ultrasound, a technician will spread a warm gel over the lower part of your abdomen and then press a tool called a transducer against your belly to examine your fetus using sound waves. An image of your fetus will appear on an accompanying computer screen and while looking at this image, the technician will take some standard measurements from different angles and listen for a heartbeat. Don't worry: This type of exam is painless and risk-free, and seeing your baby for the first time will likely be an enjoyable experience. Naturally, one of the most common questions asked about ultrasound accuracy is: Just how accurate are the due dates that are predicted by an ultrasound? Evidence suggests that, in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy , the first ultrasound may be the most accurate tool for predicting when your baby will be born.
Ultrasound Examination | Establishing the Gestational Age of the Pregnancy | Ultrasound Care
Pettker, MD; James D. Goldberg, MD; and Yasser Y. This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances as of the date issued and is subject to change. The information should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. As soon as data from the last menstrual period, the first accurate ultrasound examination, or both are obtained, the gestational age and the estimated due date EDD should be determined, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record. Subsequent changes to the EDD should be reserved for rare circumstances, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record. When determined from the methods outlined in this document for estimating the due date, gestational age at delivery represents the best obstetric estimate for the purpose of clinical care and should be recorded on the birth certificate.
For many women, especially after 8 weeks gestation, sufficient information about the baby may be obtained with transabdominal ultrasound only. However, in the early pregnancy, the developing embryo is very small at 6 weeks gestation, the baby is only mm long and a transvaginal ultrasound may be required to get a better image of the baby. Transvaginal ultrasound is safe and commonly performed during all stages of pregnancy, including the first trimester. It will not harm you or your baby. Transabdominal ultrasound involves scanning through your lower abdomen.
MFM mums share their stories plus expert sonographers explain why it happens and what to do if you're told your due dates are wrong. By Rachel Mostyn. Original date given was 18 December but at the scan it was moved to 31 Dec.