December 4, 2023Read More
If you’re 8 weeks pregnant, you may be dealing with a range of emotions in addition to physical pregnancy symptoms. This early along in your pregnancy journey, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about all the unknowns ahead. Ultrasounds play an important role in providing you and your healthcare practitioner with vital information on how your baby is growing and developing in real-time.
In this article, you’ll learn:
This prenatal ultrasound is often the first chance you and your healthcare practitioner will have to actually confirm your pregnancy. The results of this early pregnancy ultrasound give you a standard to refer to going forward. Your practitioner will likely order an ultrasound around the 8-week mark to:
On the contrary, 8 weeks is often the first point at which your healthcare professional will order an ultrasound—mainly so they can confirm you are, in fact, pregnant. Having an ultrasound at 8 weeks pregnant will give you and your practitioner a baseline from which to measure your progress.
During your ultrasound appointment, a trained technician called a sonographer will use a hand-held device called a transducer to create sound waves. Too quiet for human ears to hear, those sound waves travel through your body and the ultrasound machine detects and uses them to create an image of your baby’s position and shape.
Ultrasounds are very safe when performed by trained technicians. The sound waves are painless and don’t require radiation. Both Health Canada and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration consider ultrasounds low-risk procedures.
There are two main types of pregnancy ultrasound. With a transabdominal ultrasound, the sonographer will squeeze gel onto your belly, then run a wand over the surface of your skin. In a transvaginal ultrasound, the lubricated wand is inserted into your vagina.
At 8 weeks, you’re likely to have a transvaginal ultrasound. In the early stages of pregnancy, the embryo is so small that the transducer successfully captures more details inside the vaginal canal than it can outside the abdomen.
Ultrasounds aren’t complicated scans, but there are some things you can do to help prepare, such as:
At your 8 weeks ultrasound, you and your team will gain valuable information about how your pregnancy is progressing. Your embryo will be roughly the size of a bean, around half an inch (1-1.5 cm) long. During your ultrasound you may be able to see the following:
You won’t see too much fine detail in your 8 weeks ultrasound. For instance, you’re not likely to see limbs, nor will you be able to discern the sex of your baby. Those opportunities will come with further ultrasounds later on in your pregnancy or if you’ve opted for additional screening later in your first trimester.
It’s possible to hear a heartbeat during your 8 weeks pregnant ultrasound but there are also valid reasons you might not. If you incorrectly estimated the date of conception, it may still be too early to detect a heartbeat. Or, if you have a transabdominal ultrasound, you might not be able to hear the heartbeat through your abdominal wall.
You can ask the sonographer questions about the ultrasound procedure itself, like:
The sonographer is not allowed to answer questions about what your ultrasound contains. They’ll prepare the images, which are reviewed by a radiologist. The radiologist then prepares a report summary for your practitioner, who will go over the results with you. At your follow-up appointment with your healthcare professional you can ask:
Many patients want to see the results of their 8 weeks ultrasound as fast as possible. With PocketHealth, you can quickly access and share your pregnancy ultrasound images and report, sometimes even before the follow-up appointment with your practitioner. Access your records here.
PocketHealth allows you to securely access, share, and store your images and health information in one place. Plus, you can easily share ultrasound images with friends and family, so they can see how your pregnancy develops.
If you need clarity on the terms in your ultrasound report, PocketHealth Report Reader can help. Report Reader can help you understand the results of your 8 weeks pregnant ultrasound, so you feel confident and prepared when talking to your pregnancy care practitioner.
An ultrasound at 8 weeks will confirm your pregnancy, measure the size of your embryo and give you an estimated due date. You won’t get much in the way of close detail, but you’ll be able to see the embryo and the yolk sac inside the gestational sac. And you’ll get images, mostly likely for the very first time!
Safe and low risk, your 8 weeks pregnant ultrasound is a landmark event. You’ll gain a baseline from which to measure changes going forward in your pregnancy journey. Knowing what to expect will help you be comfortable and confident at your appointment and feel more empowered to ask questions at your follow-up, so you can happily anticipate the next stage of your pregnancy.