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Ultrasound has become so helpful that obstetricians now refer to the time before it was used routinely as “the olden days.” We use it to diagnose twins early on; we use it to document appropriate growth as the pregnancy progresses; we use it to determine fetal health; and we use it to guide conversion of breech to vertex (head-first) position and to guide amniocentesis.Of all of these uses, dating the pregnancy is the most common reason to use ultrasound, particularly when the expectant mother cannot remember the date of her last period (as in breast-feeding or irregular cycles).Using the date of the last period gives a general idea of that information, but abnormalities in the cycle or inaccuracies in the date affect the calculations.Ultrasounds commonly are used to determine the age of a fetus.Methods used to assess gestational age include known date of ovulation, date of the last menstrual period (LMP) and diagnostic ultrasound.Diagnostic ultrasound is a sophisticated electronic technology, which uses pulses of high frequency sound to produce an image.Studies identified included a Cochrane review, four RCTs and a number of observational studies. The suggested results are not a substitute for clinical judgment.
This doesn’t apply later on in pregnancy for the reasons above. If two ultrasounds one month apart determine coinciding due dates, especially if they agree with the mother’s date based on a last period, the accuracy can be within a couple of days. Babies have their own clock and can come anywhere from three weeks before this exquisitely determined due date till two weeks after.
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Ultrasound examination in the first trimester allows accurate assessment of gestational age, and identifies and allows for appropriate care of women with multiple pregnancies.
The ultrasound machine and software allows the technician to see the baby's development and measure the baby.
In the first trimester, the ultrasound measures the fetus from head to the pelvis, since the baby is so small.The software has certain measurement scales based on data from large populations, and your baby’s measurements are put into this scale.