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Common Questions About Ultrasounds

Most women have one or more ultrasounds during pregnancy, and if you have early pregnancy bleeding or other miscarriage symptoms, you may have numerous questions about what the ultrasound results mean.

Understanding Pregnancy Dating and Trimesters
While the dating methods used in pregnancy can seem confusing, it is important to know how far along you are to get the best care. In pregnancy loss, the gestational age of your baby can be the key to your treatment plan, and your odds of having another loss in the future.

My Ultrasound Showed No Fetal Pole. Am I Miscarrying?
The fetal pole is the early developing baby when it first becomes visible in the uterus on an ultrasound. Usually an ultrasound will pick up the fetal pole by 5 to 6 weeks gestational age. If there's an empty gestational sac, it might be a miscarriage but might also be the pregnancy is just not far enough along to see the fetal pole.

When Does the Gestational Sac Become Visible on an Ultrasound?
Find out when the gestational sac is supposed to become visible on an early pregnancy ultrasound.

Are Ultrasounds Always Accurate for Finding the Baby's Heartbeat?
An ultrasound is an accurate tool for finding the baby's heartbeat as long as the pregnancy is far enough along for the heartbeat to be visible. When an ultrasound finds no fetal heartbeat in a pregnancy that is definitely beyond 7 or 8 weeks of gestation, the results always mean miscarriage.

Ultrasound Showed a Slow Fetal Heart Rate in First Trimester. Will I Miscarry?
A slow heart rate in a developing baby is cause for concern, but it's impossible to tell without waiting for a followup ultrasound whether the pregnancy will end in miscarriage or continue to term.

What Does It Mean When the Gestational Sac Is Small?
When the gestational sac is smaller than expected in early pregnancy, the explanation may be incorrect dating of the pregnancy or impending miscarriage, but it is often difficult to determine the explanation based on a single ultrasound.

When Can Ultrasound Results Mean a Miscarriage Diagnosis?
Ultrasound results in early pregnancy can be confusing -- sometimes it is not clear whether the results mean a blighted ovum or missed miscarriage or simply early stages of a normal pregnancy. Learn what one medical body uses as criteria for diagnosing miscarriage from an ultrasound.

Ultrasound for Suspected Miscarriage or Pregnancy Loss
Ultrasounds are a common test for suspected pregnancy loss or threatened miscarriage. By using an ultrasound, a doctor can get an image of the gestational sac and the developing baby's heartbeat in order to determine whether or not the pregnancy is viable.

Understanding Early Pregnancy / First Trimester Ultrasound Results
Although widely considered the most accurate means of dating an early pregnancy, ultrasound results can be confusing when trying to confirm or rule out a miscarriage. Let's take a look at what you can and cannot determine from an ultrasound in early pregnancy, and whether an empty gestational sac or no fetal heartbeat means miscarriage.

No Fetal Heartbeat on Early Ultrasound. Is There Hope?
Naturally it is quite scary to be told your baby has no heartbeat. But on an early ultrasound, it can be normal to see no fetal heartbeat, although it can also be a sign of missed miscarriage or blighted ovum.

My Ultrasound Showed No Gestational Sac. What Does That Mean?
What does it mean when an early pregnancy ultrasound shows no gestational sac in the uterus? Possible explanations could be ectopic pregnancy, early miscarriage, or a normal pregnancy that is still in very early stages.

What Does It Mean If There's No Yolk Sac on the Ultrasound?
When an ultrasound shows no yolk sac inside the gestational sac, the pregnancy is either too early for the yolk sac to be seen or a miscarriage has occurred.

Why Won't the Ultrasound Tech Tell Me Whether I'm Miscarrying?
Ultrasound is commonly used in diagnosing miscarriages, but many women feel frustrated and confused that the ultrasound tech will not give them any information.

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