How early can a pregnancy be seen on an ultrasound?
Ultrasounds, also called sonograms, are a common test given to a woman who is pregnant to asses her pregnancy and its progress. An ultrasound is done by putting conducting jelly on a woman’s abdomen and then placing an ultrasound probe on the abdomen.
To assess miscarriage as well as the progress of pregnancy, a blood test is the most reliable method up until about the 8th week of pregnancy. While it may be possible to detect a pregnancy as early as 5 1/2 weeks. Because the tiny sac containing the baby and its heart is so tiny, an ultrasound may not be able to detect pregnancy at this stage.
If the baby can be seen at 6 to 7 weeks, their heart beat may even be detected. Between 7 and 8 weeks, the baby and their heart beat can both be detected relatively easily. After the 8th week of pregnancy the heart beat and the baby can be clearly seen. An ultrasound may be repeated a week or so after this point to check the baby’s progress and growth.
A newer type of ultrasound known as a Transvaginal ultrasound is a technique used mainly to visualize the woman’s reproductive organs. This type of ultrasound has a better chance of detecting an early pregnancy. This type of ultrasound involves actually placing an ultrasound probe into the vagina.