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The diagnosis of missed abortion is usually made by serial ultrasound scans demonstrating lack of gestational development.
For example, if ultrasound scan demonstrates a 7mm embryo but cannot demonstrable a clearcut heartbeat, a missed abortion may be diagnosed.
c) The Femur length (FL) Measures the longest bone in the body and reflects the longitudinal growth of the fetus. It increases from about 1.5 cm at 14 weeks to about 7.8 cm at term.
(Chart and further comments) Similar to the BPD, dating using the FL should be done as early as is feasible.
It has progressively become an indispensible obstetric tool and plays an important role in the care of every pregnant woman. The embryo can be observed and measured by about five and a half weeks. The viability of the fetus can be documented in the presence of vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy.
Ultrasound can also very importantly confirm the site of the pregnancy is within the cavity of the uterus. A visible heartbeat could be seen and detectable by pulsed doppler ultrasound by about 6 weeks and is usually clearly depictable by 7 weeks.
Fetal heart rate tends to vary with gestational age in the very early parts of pregnancy.
Normal heart rate at 6 weeks is around 90-110 beats per minute (bpm) and at 9 weeks is 140-170 bpm.
There is no sensation at all from the ultrasound waves.
Repetitive arrays of ultrasound beams scan the fetus in thin slices and are reflected back onto the same transducer.
The information obtained from different reflections are recomposed back into a picture on the monitor screen (a sonogram, or ultrasonogram).
A full bladder is often required for the procedure when abdominal scanning is done in early pregnency.
There may be some discomfort from pressure on the full bladder.