Having a First Trimester Pregnancy Ultrasound in Sydney

Now that you are pregnant, it is important that you are supported every step of the way to fully understand what is happening in your body.  You can rely on us to explain to you what you will be experiencing during your scan and what it may mean.

The first trimester ultrasound is performed in the first 3 to 4 months of your pregnancy, for several reasons such as:


Confirming that your baby’s heart is beating.

You may have vaginal bleeding or you may be worried because of problems in a previous pregnancy (such as a miscarriage). This ultrasound can routinely detect a heartbeat in your baby as early as 6-7 weeks.

Confirming the correct dates of your pregnancy

If you are uncertain of your last menstrual period or have had irregular menstrual cycles, making it difficult for your doctor to correctly estimate when your baby is due. This ultrasound can give an accurate estimated date of confinement (EDC) to within 3 to 5 days.

Confirming the location of your pregnancy.

This ultrasound will check if your pregnancy is developing normally within the uterus, rather than in the fallopian tube.

Determining the number of babies present.

This ultrasound can determine the number of babies, as well as the type of twins.

Identifying pregnancies at increased risk of miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

This ultrasound may detect changes in your early stage of pregnancy that are concerning and associated with an increased risk of pregnancy loss (for example, the pregnancy sac is small or irregular or the baby’s heart beat is much slower than expected).

Checking other pelvic organs.

Your doctor may want an ultrasound to check organs such as your uterus (for example if you have a history of fibroids) and the ovaries (for example if you have pelvic pain and there is concern about an ovarian cyst).

You may be experiencing abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding.

This early ultrasound can provide reassurance that everything is progressing normally. It may also detect a serious problem with either yourself or the pregnancy, some of which require further investigations or treatment.

How will my first trimester pregnancy ultrasound in Sydney be done?

You may have your scan done – via the abdomen – ‘Transabdominally’

You will need a full bladder to “lift” the uterus up and out of the pelvis so the embryo can be seen more clearly. Later on as the pregnancy progresses, a full bladder is not necessary as the enlarging uterus grows.

Transabdominal ultrasound involves a scan looking through your lower abdomen. A small amount of ultrasound gel is put on your skin on your lower abdomen, with the ultrasound probe then scanning through this gel. The gel helps improve contact between the probe and your skin.


Or via the vagina – ‘Transvaginally’

The sonographer might decide to use this method to achieve the most accurate visualisation, especially when the embryo is very small.

The transducer is placed in your vagina and the sound waves are transmitted via the cervix and directly into the uterus. With this form of scan, it is not necessary for you to have a full bladder.

Transvaginal ultrasound is safe and commonly performed during all stages of pregnancy, including the first trimester. It will not harm you or your baby.  It is less uncomfortable than having a pap smear and no analgesia is required.

During your ultrasound, you will have a large towel covering your lower body, in addition to wearing a gown during the transvaginal ultrasound, always respecting your privacy.

We want to you to feel at ease as much as possible and will be happy to explain any of the procedures performed.