An ultrasound is a test performed on a woman when she is pregnant to make sure the baby is healthy and is developing normally. An ultrasound is also called a sonogram, and it uses sound waves to create a picture of the unborn baby on a monitor. By 10 weeks of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage reduces considerably.
Reasons to have 10-Week Ultrasound Scan
There are many reasons for performing an ultrasound scan at 10 weeks of pregnancy which are as follows:
1. The Health of the Growing Baby
An ultrasound scan is done at 10 weeks to make sure that the baby is developing normally and is healthy.
2. Nuchal Translucency
Between 10 and 14 weeks, a test called the Nuchal Translucency Scan (NTS) is done to test the foetus for the risk of Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. In this, the unborn baby’s nuchal fold, which is the transparent back of the neck, is measured to test for any abnormalities.
3. To Hear the Heartbeat
The 10th-week ultrasound scan is the time when parents get to hear their baby’s heartbeat. The doctor can ensure that the heart is functioning normally.
4. To Ensure All Organs are Functioning
In the 10th week of pregnancy, the skin of the foetus is translucent. This means all the internal organs are visible on the ultrasound scan.
5. Spine and Spinal Nerves
The spine and the spinal nerves become visible in the 10th week of pregnancy. The doctor does an ultrasound to check if the spine and spinal nerves are developing normally.
At 10 weeks of pregnancy, the foetus weighs about 4gm and measures around 3.1cm from crown to rump. The doctor makes sure that the unborn baby is growing and developing at a normal rate by checking these measurements. She will also calculate the baby’s gestational age based on these measurements and predict a due date.
How to Prepare for your 10 Week Scan?
To prepare for your 10-week ultrasound scan, you will need to have a full bladder. This is so that the ultrasound technician can get a clear image of the baby, the placenta, uterus, ovaries, and cervix. You will need to drink 3 glasses of water an hour before you have the ultrasound so that your bladder is full.
How Long Does it Take to get this Ultrasound Done?
The ultrasound exam can take between 15 to 30 minutes. The sonographer has to get a good image of the baby and also examine your uterus, placenta, and ovaries. If the baby is very active and moving around or is in an awkward position, the sonographer will take longer to capture clear images. If clear images are not obtained, the scan may have to be redone another time.
How is 10 Week Ultrasound Scan Performed?
The sonographer will ask you to lie down and expose your belly and abdomen. She will then put some gel over your belly and will press a wand called a transducer over your skin. This wand sends ultrasound waves that form an image of your baby on the monitor. The technician will apply some pressure on your belly with the wand to get clear views of the baby. The scan is not painful and is non-invasive. In some cases, the scan may be done vaginally if the abdominal scan does not produce clear images. The vaginal probe is not painful.
What Can You See?
What to expect in a 10-week ultrasound? Here is the list:
- You can see the baby moving in a 10-week ultrasound. The baby’s hands, feet, and head can be seen clearly.
- The baby’s skin is transparent, so you will be able to see the internal organs.
- You can see the heart beating and also hear it.
- You will see that the baby’s forehead is bulged to accommodate the growing brain. The forehead gradually flattens later.
- You can see the baby’s fingers and toes. The fingers and toes are webbed earlier, and by the 10th week, the webbing disappears and the digits separate.
- Body hair may be visible during this time.
- Nose and ears can be seen. The eyelids are seen but are closed.
- Baby’s skeleton is complete, and the framework of the spine can be seen.
10 Weeks Ultrasound, No Movement, Is this Normal?
If the baby is not seen moving during the by the 10th-week, there is nothing to worry. The baby may be sleeping in the womb. As long as your sonographer assures you that the baby’s growth, development, and heartbeat are normal, there is no need to be concerned.
What if Any Other Abnormalities are Found in the Scan at 10 Weeks?
If any abnormalities are spotted in 10-week ultrasound pictures, your sonographer or doctor will inform you about it. In such cases, the doctor may recommend further testing such as Chorionic Villi Sampling, blood tests, and amniocentesis to be certain. Based on the findings, the doctor will speak to you about the further course of action to be taken and may even refer you to a specialist.
The 10-week ultrasound scan is also called a dating scan, as it is used to determine the gestational age of the baby and predict the due date. The nuchal translucency test is part of this scan. Some parents may choose to get a printed picture of the scan to preserve as a memento. In some countries, the technician may be able to determine the gender of the baby. However, sex determination is illegal in India. The 10-week ultrasound is done to ensure that the foetal development is normal and the baby is healthy.