Are first trimester ultrsounds accurate dating
An average length of the embryo at 7 weeks is anywhere between 5mm-12mm. Obviously, every pregnancy is unique and individual factors influence the size of the embryo at this early stage, and the embryo shows development week by week.
The application of ultrasound in pregnancy may be broadly classified as either elective or reactive.
In other words, by comparing your baby’s measurements to the data from this large collection of measurements, the ultrasound can then tell how far along your baby is.
However, if you have a larger than average baby, the ultrasound will apply the husky figures to the “normal” measurements.
Elective or planned use implies scanning to detect potential problems in otherwise seemingly uncomplicated pregnancy (screening), whereas reactive use is the application of ultrasound to help in the management of a clinical problem (diagnosis).
The use of clinical factors, history and examination, lead to a much wider error margin in pregnancy dating than when ultrasound is used in the first half of the pregnancy.
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This is because it is the longest portion of the embryo’s body and provides an ideal measurement baseline of growth and development.