How Early Can a Pelvic Ultrasound Detect a Pregnancy?

Updated on May 24, 2011
V.W. asks from Chisago City, MN
17 answers

So if you read my last post, you know that I am worried about being pregnant even though the chances of me being pregnant are REALLY low (Read my last post for more details).

I had a doctor's appointment on Friday and they ran a pregnancy test for me (Urine not blood). It came back negative. That should make me feel great, right? Wrong. I can't shake that feeling that I'm pregnant.

Anyways, I'm having a pelvic ultrasound this morning for an unrelated issue (7 months after giving birth I'm finally complaining about some complications. They didn't find anything during a regular exam so they are doing a pelvic ultrasound to see if they can find anything that way). I'm wondering, if I am pregnant, will the technician be able to see it?

I don't even know how far along I would be. I had sex 2 weeks ago and 4-5 weeks ago, but my periods are all crazy due to either birth control or a pregnancy so I have no idea which time got me.

I know, I know... Worrying over nothing. But on the very slight chance that I am pregnant, would this ultrasound be able to detect it? I really don't want to keep bugging my doctor for more pregnancy tests (Like I said, it took me 7 months to complain about a complication from giving birth). At the same time I feel bad because I'm still taking birth control (My doctor made me switch from the shot to the patch. I put my first patch on yesterday), and I obviously don't want to do that if I'm pregnant.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

The ultrasound tech looked and didn't see anything. She said that if I'm early than 4-5 weeks, then she wouldn't be able to.

Ugh! Even after a negative pregnancy test and this ultrasound, I still 'feel' pregnant. I don't have any symptoms other than the weird periods. This is how I know that I am related to my grandma... That woman can turn a bump into cancer within 30 seconds. Lol

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

They can't really see anything until about 18 weeks by doing it outside the body. They can get an image at even 6-8 weeks by doing a vaginal ultrasound. They did this with my daughter when she had had a miscarriage. She was not yet 12 weeks and they couldn't detect a fetus but did the vaginal one and there was the twin that had't been lost.



answers from Youngstown on

When I was pregnant with my first child I thought I was farther along than I was so the Dr got me in like a week later and they couldn't see the baby so we waited 3 more weeks. When I went the first time I was only 2 weeks 5days but my bloodwork had come back positive. Also whith my last pregnancy I tested negative and my period still didn't start 2 weeks later I went back to the doc for another one and it was positive. I would say if you had bloodwork you aren't prego but I am not a dr so it's always possible to be prego when you are having sex even with birthcontrol. Hard to say if the tech will see a baby depends on how far you are.

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answers from Daytona Beach on

i can't tell you how often i have been sure i was pregnant. ;). ever since i had my son, even though i have had a tubal, there are a few times a year that i have thought "i know i'm pregnant." there was even a while that, even though i still was having my period, it felt like i was having kicking in my stomach. i'm assumng it was gas, but i could even see my belly getting "kicked" and felt like something was up under my ribs. however, it's been 4 almost 5 yrs and i haven't had another baby. chances are you aren't pregnant.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

We have pics of my daughter at 4 weeks--basically a dot. They can see the eggs develop during fertility treatment... so a good tech with a good enough u/s machine can tell very early.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

it detected mine at 4 weeks

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

Mine was detected so early they made me wait another month to go back and do all technical stuff.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

I was having irregular cycles before conceiving my second. My Dr. had said she wanted to do an ultrasound to check for cysts. When she told me it may mean I wasn't ovulating, I totally freaked and had sex a ton before the ultrasound scheduled a few weeks out. At the ultrasound, the tech saw a "sack of cells!" I was so excited! I think at that point I was about a week and a half late, although my cycle had been wacky and unpredictable...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Ummm....I'm sorry but if you think you might be pregnant you should not have the patch on! Use condoms until you a. Find out you are pregnant for sure or b. Start your period.

As for your question I have no idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

well if you would only be about 8-10 weeks along, an ultrasound through the abdomin probably won't find anything. when i was 8 weeks with my first, they did an endovaginal one, not an abdominal one because it wouldn't show anything when you're less than like 12 or 14 weeks along, i think the nurse said. if it still shows nothing, and yet you're really still feeling like you are, push for a blood test. only in rare instances are those ever wrong, and then you'll know for sure if you are or not.



answers from Topeka on

If you think you maybe pregnant stop using your patch take it off.Your having a pelvic exam good they can see if you are preggo depending on how far along you are they could see a sack,flitters indicates a heatbeat.Why haven't you taken a blood test to make sure you are pregnant?I know for a fact that OTC test aren't always accurate they didn't detect my last pregnancy till I was almost 3 weeks late I did repeat then finally after 2 positives I did a blood test for my gynos office then an US I was 5 weeks then.



answers from New York on

Chances are, you're not pregnant. But it sounds like you REALLY don't want to get pregnant - so might I suggest a little backup to your patch. Use a sondom, too. Hang in there - and keep reminding yourself that depression is not your friend when you are worried about things like possibly being pregnant.



answers from Boston on

If you really want to know, go buy a home pregnancy test, get a box with several in it. I found out I was pregnant when I was only 2 weeks along with Clear Blue Easy digital test. Your doctor uses the same test so you might as well save yourself the time and money of going in to the doctor.


answers from Dallas on

Don't count on anything being detected, even vaginally, until after 7 weeks. I know it is completely possible for pregnancy to be detected before then by vaginal ultrasound, but sometimes they show up late. (With DD they thought I had miscarried and were doing weekly ultrasounds to monitor me. There was nothing at all to be seen, so I'm not sure why they were doing the u/s in the first place, but low and behold ten days later they could suddenly see DD inside her little sac with that embryonic heart just fluttering away) I hope things work out the way you want them to, good luck! (Also I agree, just ask your doc for a blood test. It's cheep and fast and you will know for sure)


answers from Dallas on

If it's super early on, it might have to be a vaginal one to see it. If you're around 12 weeks, they should be able to see it pretty easy with just a belly ultrasound.



answers from Phoenix on

Ask you doctor to do a blood pregnancy test. It will detect any increase in your HCG level. And if make sure you are using condoms until you get this resolved.
A vaginal ultrasound may pick up an early pregnancy, ask the tech to look, just in case.
And stop worrying about bugging your doctor, you have a right to peace of mind and he/she should be happy to provide you with it.



answers from Chicago on

If a trained US technician is doing the scan, you might be able to find out about 16 days after ovulation (which is technically called 4 weeks). It would need to be a transvaginal ultrasound. You won't get a heart beat, seen as a tiny flicker, until week 6 or 7. What you would see is the yolk sac and perhaps the beginning of a fetal pole forming. You shouldn't consider the embryo viable until the heart beat is detected. I've been pregnant 3 times and due to fertility issues, I've had the TV scan done 16 days post-ovulation each time.



answers from Phoenix on

If you are still worried about pregnancy, please take another home pregnancy test in a few days or a week. It's highly unlikely, but as the US tech said, it's possible to have missed it this early. The dollar stores sell very accurate pregnancy tests. Buy a handful and relax. In the mean time, please use contraception as directed. Hormone imbalance can cause that "pregnant feeling" too. Nurse Midwife mom of 3

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