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What to Expect at a 9 Week Ultrasound

Feb 14, 2022 | 2 minutes Read

Every pregnant woman is offered ultrasound scans during pregnancy. However, the number of scans and timeline will be different for each woman. Your ultrasound schedule will depend on a few key factors, including:

  • The progression and health of your pregnancy
  • Your personal preferences
  • Your chosen pregnancy provider
  • Your medical history
  • Your health insurance policy
If you didn’t have an ultrasound at 8 weeks, your 9 week ultrasound will likely be scheduled to assess the gestational age of your baby. If you're not sure when your last menstrual period (LMP) was, a scan at nine weeks will be able to confirm your approximate date of conception.

Your first ultrasound can be a very emotional experience so it's a good idea to take along your partner or close family member for support.

The purpose of a 9 week ultrasound

Depending on your unique pregnancy, your chosen provider may schedule an earlier ultrasound at 9 weeks for a few different reasons.

If this is your first ultrasound, it will give you the opportunity to accurately determine your due date. Especially if you haven’t tracked when your LMP was.

Knowing how far along you are in your pregnancy is important. At some point between 11 and 13 weeks your healthcare professional will suggest conducting a nuchal translucency (NT) scan. This scan tests for Down syndrome and for accurate results, you need to know how far along you are.

If you have miscarried a previous pregnancy or experienced some level of vaginal bleeding over the last 9 weeks, you may also be offered an ultrasound. This scan can confirm whether your pregnancy is progressing healthily.

What to expect during your 9 week ultrasound

This ultrasound may be conducted vaginally or externally on your abdomen. Know that if your healthcare provider has officially referred you for an early scan your insurance should cover it.

At 9 weeks, you will be able to see your baby's head, body, and limbs. You will also be able to hear your little one's heartbeat for the first time with a Doppler monitor. Bring some tissues with you; this can be a very emotional moment.

It's also important to understand that miscarrying during the first 3 months of pregnancy is quite common.

If your ultrasound shows that your baby is growing slowly or has a lower-than-average heartbeat, your chances of miscarrying are high. If you have been experiencing pain or vaginal bleeding, you might be somewhat prepared for this news.

Your baby at 9 weeks

At nine weeks, your baby will measure approximately 1 inch. The fetus will resemble a green olive and weigh less than 2 grams.

Your little one's eyes will have grown larger and even have some color, but their eyelids will still be fused shut. Your ultrasound may be able to show you the beginnings of what will be your little one's fingers and toes, too.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.