Early Pregnancy Scan Atlas

When you are finally pregnant, the doctor uses ultrasound scans to confirm your pregnancy is progressing well ! What does the doctor look for when he does your pregnancy scans ?

Once you get pregnant, your pregnancy will be carefully monitored, to ensure that it is progressing well. Along with tracking your HCG levels, your doctor will also do vaginal ultrasound scans to make sure all is well.

You are likely to be quite anxious every time you go for a scan ? Is all well ? Is my baby fine ? What if something goes wrong ? When you've worked so hard at getting pregnant, the last thing you want do is to lose the pregnancy, so you are likely to be on tenterhooks - and keep your husband up at nights as well !

Your mind will play all kinds of games with you - especially when you have worrisome symptoms - or even when you don't ! ( Why don't I have any morning sickness ? Aren't my breasts supposed to feel full and tender ?) . This is especially true when you have cramps or bleeding !

Pregnancy scans often just look like confusing black and white shadows, and it can be hard to make sense of the images.

The following photo essay has pictures of ultrasound scans, kindly provided by Dr Ashok Khurana, MD, of Khurana Clinic, New Delhi.

This has the important landmarks of what the doctor looks for in your pregnancy scans. There are certain key landmarks, and these are quite easy to identify, if you know what to expect !

The important thing to remember is that the pregnancy evolves quite rapidly; and serial scans provide much more information than just a single result, which is why it's important to save all your images and compare them with each other !

Also, there's quite a bit of variation from pregnancy to pregnancy, so please don't assume the worst in case your pregnancy seems to be lagging behind in the beginning - many normal pregnancies catch up on their own with time !

4 weeks

Gestational sac (water bag at 4 weeks 3 days from the last period)
5 weeks

Yolk sac 5 weeks of pregnancy
7 weeks

Yolk sac embryo. 7 weeks pregnancy

8 weeks

Embryo Upper limb bud. 8 weeks of pregnancy

Yolk sac and upper limb bud. 8 weeks pregnancy


Abnormal, nonviable pregnancy. Large yolk sac with increased blood flow

Ectopic pregnancy. 8 weeks. Empty uterus Pregnancy outside the uterus

Intrauterine fetal death. No cardiac activity. 8 weeks . Increased blood flow

Want more information ? You can see even more images of what scans during early pregnancy look like !

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.