10 Week Ultrasound: What to Expect

10 week ultrasound

Pregnancy is an exhilarating journey with numerous milestones, including the 10 week ultrasound. This is a crucial phase in your pregnancy journey, where you can glimpse your developing baby. The 10 week ultrasound scan provides valuable insights into the growth and development of the fetus. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need about a 10-week ultrasound.

The Importance of a 10 Week Ultrasound

An ultrasound at 10 weeks of pregnancy serves multiple purposes. It is not just about catching the first glimpse of your baby; it provides crucial information about the baby’s development and health.

1. Monitoring Baby’s Growth

The primary purpose of the 10-week ultrasound is to monitor the baby’s growth. The sonographer will measure the baby and determine whether its size corresponds with the gestational age. At 10 weeks, the fetus measures about 3.1cm from crown to rump and weighs approximately 4 grams.

2. Detecting Any Abnormalities

The ultrasound scan at 10 weeks also helps check for any potential abnormalities. This could include a nuchal translucency scan (NTS) performed between 10 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. This scan measures the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck, which can indicate the risk of Down Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities.

3. Listening to the Baby’s Heartbeat

By the 10th week of pregnancy, you can hear your baby’s heartbeat through an ultrasound scan. This examination ensures that your baby’s heart functions normally, providing reassurance about the baby’s health.

4. Checking the Functionality of Baby’s Organs

At 10 weeks, the baby’s skin is translucent, meaning all the internal organs are visible on the ultrasound scan. The sonographer can check whether all the organs are developing and functioning as they should.

5. Observing the Development of the Spine

By the 10th week of pregnancy, the baby’s spine should be visible. The ultrasound will verify if the spine is developing normally.

6. Determining the Baby’s Position

If this is your first ultrasound, the sonographer will inform you about the location of your pregnancy, i.e., your baby’s position. This scan helps rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

Preparing for Your 10-Week Ultrasound

Preparation for a 10-week ultrasound scan involves having a full bladder. A full bladder assists the ultrasound technician in obtaining a clear image of the baby, placenta, uterus, ovaries, and cervix. It is advisable to drink about three glasses of water an hour before the ultrasound to ensure your bladder is full.

Duration of an Ultrasound Scan

A standard ultrasound scan usually takes between 15 to 30 minutes. The sonographer takes this time to capture a clear image of the baby and examine your uterus, placenta, and ovaries. If the baby is active and moving around or in an awkward position, it might take longer to get clear images.

The procedure of an Ultrasound Scan

To perform an ultrasound, the sonographer will ask you to lie on the examination table and expose your belly and abdomen. They will then apply some gel on your belly and press a wand, known as a transducer, onto the skin. This wand emits ultrasound waves that form an image of your baby on the monitor. The sonographer may apply pressure on your belly with the wand to get a clear view of the baby. This process is non-invasive and not painful. Sometimes, if the abdominal scan does not produce clear images, the sonographer might perform a vaginal scan. However, even this probe is not painful.

Also Read: The 8 Week Ultrasound

What to Expect to See on a 10-Week Ultrasound

The 10-week ultrasound scan can give you a glimpse into your baby’s world. Here’s what to expect:

  • You might see your baby moving
  • You can expect to see your baby’s hands, feet, and head clearly
  • Since your baby’s skin is transparent, you may also see internal organs
  • You might see your baby’s bulged forehead, a temporary feature to accommodate the growing brain
  • You might also see your baby’s fingers, toes, nose, and ears
  • The baby’s eyelids will be visible, but they will be closed
  • The baby’s skeleton is complete, and the framework of the spine can be seen

Development of the Fetus at 10 Weeks

At 10 weeks pregnant, your baby is growing rapidly. The baby’s face is almost fully formed with tiny nose, chin, and forehead starting to take shape. The baby’s brain is developing at an impressive rate, and even the taste buds are starting to form. The baby’s eyelids have formed but remain sealed shut until around 27 weeks. Interestingly, your baby’s teeth are getting stronger and harder, connecting to the jaw bone.

Is No Movement at 10-Week Ultrasound Normal?

If you do not see your baby moving in your 10-week ultrasound, there’s no need to panic. It is possible that your baby may be sleeping in the womb. As long as your sonographer assures you that the baby’s growth, development, and heartbeat are normal, there is no cause for concern.

Dealing with Potential Abnormalities

Your sonographer or doctor will inform you if any abnormalities are spotted in the 10-week ultrasound. The doctor may recommend further testing, such as Chorionic Villi Sampling, blood tests, and amniocentesis to confirm the findings. Based on the results, they will discuss further action and may refer you to a specialist if necessary.


1. Can You Feel the Baby at 10 Weeks of Pregnancy?

At 10 weeks, it’s still a bit early to feel any movement from the baby. However, an ultrasound at 10 weeks pregnant will allow you to see your little one’s tiny arms and legs and hear their heartbeat.

2. Is It Possible to Determine the Gender of the Baby at 10 Weeks?

While the baby’s genitals start to form at this stage, they’re still too small to be seen clearly on an ultrasound. However, some experts use the “nub theory” to make an educated guess about the baby’s gender. This method is not foolproof, and there’s a chance that the guess could be wrong.

As an expecting mother, it is essential to understand the importance of a 10-week ultrasound. It not only allows you to catch a glimpse of your baby but also helps monitor the baby’s growth and development. This comprehensive guide aims to provide all the necessary information about a 10-week ultrasound, making your pregnancy journey smoother.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557572/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK573070/