Nuchal scan vs dating scan

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Not useful for dating, the abdominal circumference of the fetus may also be measured.This gives an estimate of the weight and size of the fetus and is important when doing serial ultrasounds to monitor fetal growth.Transvaginal scans usually provide clearer pictures during early pregnancy and in obese women.Also used is Doppler sonography which detects the heartbeat of the fetus.Research shows that routine obstetric ultrasound before 24 weeks gestational age can significantly reduce the risk of failing to recognize multiple gestations and can improve pregnancy dating to reduce the risk of labor induction for post-dates pregnancy.There is no difference, however, in perinatal death or poor outcomes for babies.

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A gestational sac can be reliably seen on transvaginal ultrasound by 5 weeks gestational age (approximately 3 weeks after ovulation).Current evidence indicates that diagnostic ultrasound is safe for the unborn child, unlike radiographs, which employ ionizing radiation.Randomized controlled trials have followed children up to ages 8–9, with no significant differences in vision, hearing, school performance, dyslexia, or speech and neurologic development by exposure to ultrasound.In some countries, routine pregnancy sonographic scans are performed to detect developmental defects before birth.This includes checking the status of the limbs and vital organs, as well as (sometimes) specific tests for abnormalities.

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