Why Do I Need an Ultrasound so Early in My Pregnancy?

Early in an unexpected pregnancy, a woman may still be deciding how she feels about being pregnant. She’s probably facing decisions about what to do next. Whether or not she’s excited about her pregnancy, there’s a lot to figure out. So why bother getting an ultrasound so soon?

An early pregnancy ultrasound is the most important piece of medical information a woman can get to guide her decision-making. With an ultrasound, she will learn three things:

(1) how far along her pregnancy is,

(2) where the pregnancy is located, and

(3) whether the pregnancy is viable.

Without this information, she may take risks she could have avoided or make decisions that aren’t based on the medical facts about her unique pregnancy.

Let’s look more closely at those three benefits of getting an early pregnancy ultrasound.

Pensive young woman considering early pregnancy ultrasound

How Far Along is My Pregnancy? (Gestational Age)

Most women try to estimate how advanced their pregnancy is based on when they started feeling “different” or when they last had sex. Yet these estimates are often inaccurate.

An early pregnancy ultrasound allows a medical professional to measure the size of the fetus and accurately determine the stage of development—the gestational age.

Whatever next steps a woman takes, she will need to factor in the age of the fetus. For example, if she is considering an abortion, she will need information on which methods are available at her stage of pregnancy.

If a woman is considering either parenting or making an adoption plan, the gestational age will give her a timeframe in which she can prepare to carry out those plans.


Is My Pregnancy in My Uterus? (Location of Pregnancy)

An ultrasound can reveal whether the pregnancy has begun safely within the uterus (womb) or has implanted outside the uterus. Implanting outside the uterus is called an ectopic pregnancy. Because an ectopic pregnancy is not growing within the organ designed to support a full-term pregnancy, it poses great danger to a woman if allowed to keep growing. Commonly, ectopic pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg cannot survive there, but can grow to the point where the tube ruptures, putting the woman’s life in danger.

For a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, an early pregnancy ultrasound empowers her to take immediate action to surgically remove the nonviable pregnancy. (The ultrasound also spares her from having a regular abortion, which would not only fail to end her pregnancy but also increase her risks as the tubal pregnancy progressed to the danger point.)


Is My Pregnancy Viable?

Woman thinking and contemplating Viability refers to a pregnancy that is progressing naturally in a healthy direction.

Many women don’t know that as many as 20% of all pregnancies end in natural miscarriage. This is usually due to some anomaly that causes the fetus to stop growing and ultimately die. The greatest number of these miscarriages happen early in pregnancy, within the first 12 weeks.

An early pregnancy ultrasound can reveal signs of a pending miscarriage such as lack of a heartbeat, lack of movement appropriate to gestational age, or other indications a fetus is not thriving.

If a pregnancy is already ending naturally, a woman will have no reason to undergo an abortion. An early pregnancy ultrasound can spare her that medical procedure and the costs and risks that go with it.

On the other hand, if an ultrasound shows the pregnancy is viable, the woman will be able to discuss with the medical professional both her medical status as well as the options and resources she has available.


Why Get My Early Pregnancy Ultrasound at a Pregnancy Center?

There are at least two excellent reasons for getting an ultrasound at a pregnancy center.

It’s Free.

A pregnancy center does not charge patients for an ultrasound—or any of their other support services.

With nothing to gain financially from their patients, pregnancy medical centers will not exert pressure on a woman to use any of their services. The professional staff members are therefore free to answer all a woman’s questions truthfully and without regard to any benefit for themselves.

Medical Consultation and More.

At pregnancy center ultrasound appointment, a woman can feel free to express all her concerns—medical or personal—and ask all her questions. Staff will spend all the time she needs to allow her to fully consider her whole situation. They know that having time to talk things through is essential to a woman’s confidence in making a satisfying, fully-informed decision.

At a pregnancy medical center, the staff includes both medical and support professionals. They know that a woman’s life is more than just her pregnancy. They believe she deserves more than medical information and a list of options. She deserves to be heard, to receive straight answers to her questions, and to know what help she has available for all the parts of her life impacted by this pregnancy.

Make an Appointment Today

The best way to get through all the questions that come up early in an unexpected pregnancy is to get an appointment for an early pregnancy ultrasound. If you or someone you know is in this situation and living in or near Redwood Falls or Marshall, Minnesota, the best place to go is Choices Pregnancy Center.

We will be glad to walk with you or your friend during this uncertain time. It’s our goal to deliver the kind of compassionate, professional, and confidential service that gives women everything they need to make a decision they’ll be proud of for a lifetime.