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|Sat, 04-12-2008 - 5:36pm|
I found an interesting description at American Pregnancy that I thought I would post and share with you for your early doctor's visits. I hope this info helps!
Week 6 - Gestational Age (Fetal age 4 weeks)
5 ½ to 6 ½ weeks is usually a very good time to detect either a fetal pole or even a fetal heart beat by vaginal ultrasound. The fetal pole is the first visible sign of a developing embryo. This pole structure actually has some curve to it with the embryo’s head at one end and what looks like a tail at the other end. The fetal pole now allows for crown to rump measurements (CRL) to be taken, so that pregnancy dating can be a bit more accurate. The fetal pole may be seen at a crown-rump length (CRL) of 2-4mm, and the heartbeat may be seen as a regular flutter when the CRL has reached 5mm.
If a vaginal ultrasound is done and no fetal pole or cardiac activity is seen, another ultrasound scan should be done in 3-7 days. Due to the fact that pregnancy dating can be wrong, it would be much too early at this point to make a clear diagnosis on the outcome of the pregnancy.
Week 7 - Gestational Age (Fetal Age 5 weeks)
Generally from 6 ½ -7 weeks is the time when a heartbeat can be detected and viability can be assessed. A normal heartbeat at 6-7 weeks would be 90-110 beats per minute. The presence of an embryonic heartbeat is an assuring sign of the health of the pregnancy. Once a heartbeat is detected, the chance of the pregnancy continuing ranges from 70-90% dependent on what type of ultrasound is used. If the embryo is less than 5mm CRL, it is possible for it to be healthy without showing a heartbeat, though a follow up scan in 5-7 days should show cardiac activity.