Ultrasound uses the size of the fetus to determine the gestational age (the time elapsed since the the first day of the last menstrual period).
The accuracy of the ultrasound estimate of the gestational age varies according to the gestational age.
Ultrasounds done later in the pregnancy are less accurate for dating, so if your due date is set in the first trimester, it shouldn't be changed.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommends the earliest ultrasound with a crown rump length equivalent to at least 7 weeks (or 10 mm) should be used to determine the gestational age . However, ultrasound determination of the date of ovulation has the same imprecision as does the ultrasound estimate of the gestational age and, therefore, a precise date of conception cannot usually be determined as with in vitro fertilization. In addition, although a woman is most likely to become pregnant if she has sex on the day of ovulation conception may also occur from live sperm still in her reproductive tract on the day of ovulation if she had sex for up to five days before ovulation [26,27]. Doppler Ultrasonography The fetal heart can be heard using Doppler ultrasound by 10 to 12 weeks in most patients . Savitz DA, Terry JW Jr, Dole N, Thorp JM Jr, Siega-Riz AM, Herring AH. The gestational age should ,therefore, be at least 10 to 12 weeks if fetal heart tone are heard. Kramer MS, Mc Lean FH, Boyd ME, Usher RH: The validity of gestational age estimation by menstrual dating in term, preterm and postterm gestations. Comparison of pregnancy dating by last menstrual period, ultrasound scanning, and their combination. This is sometimes called a nuchal translucency scan.