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Crown/rump length and gestational age are closely compared with each other until around the end of the first trimester.
The ideal time for a sonographer to assess the gestational age in the first trimester is between 7-10 weeks of pregnancy.
Other reasons to have a 7 week ultrasound are to: The embryo will be measured from the top of its head, the “crown” to its bottom or “rump”.
This is because it is the longest portion of the embryo’s body and provides an ideal measurement baseline of growth and development.
This is because although every little embryo is unique, there are still defining characteristics of development which apply to all embryos at particular stages of early gestational development.
As the embryo matures to a foetus, individual genetics and growth factors influence its growth.
This is why an early pregnancy dating scan, rather than one done in the later stages of pregnancy, is considered more accurate when assessing the expected date of delivery.
This can be for many reasons but the most common is to confirm pregnancy and to check that the embryo is viable and “everything’s ok”.
The limbs and the yolk sac, though obviously important, are not the primary means of measuring growth.
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.
There are two ways of having a seven week ultrasound.
This is the period of time which provides the most accurate assessment.Generally, ultrasounds which are performed in the first trimester are within 3-5 days of being accurate in terms of assessing gestational age.