A dating scan is an ultrasound examination which is performed in order to establish the gestational age of the pregnancy. Most dating scans are done with a trans-abdominal transducer and a fullish bladder. If the pregnancy is very early the gestation sac and fetus will not be big enough to see, so the transvaginal approach will give better pictures. Dating scans are usually recommended if there is doubt about the validity of the last menstrual period. By 6 to 7 weeks gestation the fetus is clearly seen on trans-vaginal ultrasound and the heart beat can be seen at this early stage 90 to beats per minute under 6 to 7 weeks, then to beats per minute as the baby matures. Ultrasounds performed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are generally within 3 - 5 days of accuracy.
Every pregnant woman wants to know her due date. But a due date calculated from last menstrual period with a due date calculator often doesn't match the due date that is estimated by ultrasound also known as a sonogram. During an ultrasound, a technician spreads a warm gel over the lower part of the abdomen, and then presses a tool called a transducer against the belly to examine the fetus using sound waves. An image of the fetus appears on an accompanying computer screen. While looking at this image, the technician takes some standard measurements from different angles and listens for a heartbeat.
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