However, in the early pregnancy, the developing embryo is very small (at 6 weeks gestation, the baby is only 5-9mm long) and a transvaginal ultrasound may be required to get a better image of the baby.

Transvaginal ultrasound is safe and commonly performed during all stages of pregnancy, including the first trimester. Transabdominal ultrasound involves scanning through your lower abdomen.

Transvaginal ultrasound usually produces better and clearer images of the female pelvic organs including the developing pregnancy, because the ultrasound probe lies closer to these structures.

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If your bladder is very full and painful, you should empty a small amount so you are more comfortable.

You will be able to empty your bladder after the transabdominal ultrasound is completed and before the transvaginal ultrasound begins (if transvaginal ultrasound is required).

A full bladder moves bowel out from the pelvis into the abdomen, helping visualisation of the pregnancy, uterus and ovaries.

Your bladder should not be so full that it causes pain.

The probe is then gently inserted a short distance into the vagina.

All transvaginal probes have been cleaned and sterilised according to recommended protocols.Pregnancy ultrasounds are performed mainly using transabdominal ultrasound.For many women, especially after 8 weeks gestation, sufficient information about the baby may be obtained with transabdominal ultrasound only.The corpus luteum will gradually resolve (get smaller) as the pregnancy continues.At 5-6 weeks gestation, a small gestation (pregnancy) sac is seen within the uterus.A small amount of ultrasound gel is put on the skin of the lower abdomen, with the ultrasound probe then scanning through this gel.