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However, in the early pregnancy, the developing embryo is very small (at 6 weeks gestation, the baby is only 5-9mm 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. Transabdominal ultrasound involves scanning through your lower abdomen.But ultrasounds can also lift the lid on a few worries you might be having. The main reason for the ultrasound is to work out how many weeks pregnant you are, and to estimate your due date.

The baby is usually prepared to perform a little dance for the camera too!The sonographer will put some gel on your tummy and move a probe over the skin.The image will come up on a big screen television so that you can see all the structures that are being examined. The heart rate is worked out to determine viability. This includes measurements of the head, abdomen and femur bone in the leg. The amniotic fluid volume, placenta location and umbilical cord vessels are also assessed.If you have an irregular cycle, or if you've recently been taking the contraceptive pill, working out the date from your LMP isn't a very accurate method.Ultrasounds are more accurate than using the LMP and, if the ultrasound date differs from your period dates, the ultrasound date will be used.

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