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Fetal Pole Development
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Know Everything About Fetal Pole Development

You may have heard of a fetal pole in pregnancy or a fetal pole ultrasound in some cases. The fetal pole is an embryo and one of the earliest pregnancy stages. In case of a healthy pregnancy, the fetal pole will steadily transform into the fetus. An early ultrasound will help in measurement and viewing of the fetal pole in question. This ensures greater information on the location of the embryo, the complications, gestational age and whether there is more than a single embryo. After developing into the fetus, it grows into the infant. The other name for this is embryonic pole or embryo.

embryo pole

A fetal pole is not a baby and is only the embryo until the tenth week of the gestation phase. It ultimately grows into the fetus and undergoes fetal development till the time of birth. 

Learn more about fetal pole development and associated aspects. This is one of the earliest and most intrinsic stages of fetal development. You should learn more about anatomical, functional and other aspects in this regard.

Functional Aspects

  • The fetal pole may be tracked via prenatal ultrasound technologies. Images may ensure crucial data for healthcare systems early on in a pregnancy. 
  • The fetal pole size may help in the determination of gestational age, particularly if you are not sure of the last period date or in case of irregular periods. 
  • If you are already pregnant with several embryos, then multiple fetal poles will also be present. 
  • The location of the pregnancy is also essential. The pregnancy should be visible in the uterus instead of the fallopian tubes. 
  • If the fetal is too small or invisible, then it may be a sign of a miscarriage or the wrong dates. 


Anatomical Aspects

  • The fetal pole lies next to the yolk sac which resembles a pouch. It derives its nutrients here. Both of these lie within the gestational sac in the uterus in case of a regular pregnancy. 
  • The fetal pole has a curved shape with the embryo head at one end and is known as the crown. The other end has the rump that looks like a tail. 
  • The size of the fetal pole is dependent upon the pregnancy stage. The measurement of the embryo takes place to the rump from the crown. Whenever the embryo detection happens, it may be approximately 1-2 millimeters, growing to roughly 30 millimeters by the tenth week. 
  • The fetal pole is often seen with the vaginal ultrasound procedure at approximately 5 ½ weeks in the stage of pregnancy. However, it may remain invisible for many weeks, based on the ultrasound type and the uterus angle. 
  • The heartbeat is sometimes felt after six weeks or after the fetal pole is examined by the doctor. 


Possible Issues

  • Ultrasounds may not find the fetal pole at all times. Repeat testing may be needed in such cases. 
  • The blighted ovum happens when the uterine fertilized egg implants do not grow into embryos. This leads to miscarriage taking place early on. 
  • If the ultrasound cannot find the feta pole or the gestational sac, then a miscarriage may be possible. 
  • If the pregnancy is still in its early stages, you may be unable to view the embryo. The gestational age is sometimes dependent upon an estimate and may not always be correct, particularly if there have been irregular menstrual cycles. 
  • If the fetal pole is discovered in any other location than the uterus, then it is perceived as a condition called the ectopic pregnancy. This indicates a medical issue. Other locations for finding gestational sacs may include the cervix, abdomen, ovary, fallopian tube, etc. 
  • If a fetal pole measurement exceeds 7 millimeters and the doctor does not find any visible heartbeat, then this indicates abnormal pregnancy, leading to a possible miscarriage as well. 


How To Maintain A Healthy Fetal Pole

Maintaining a healthy fetal pole and suitably caring for the same, requires a few steps to be taken at your end. Many issues happening with the fetal pole are not always preventable. For instance, it is impossible to prevent genetic issues or switch ectopic pregnancy locations. However, you can still bypass foods like raw meat/eggs, mercury containing items, and unpasteurized dairy items. You can talk to your doctor about prescriptions, supplements or OTC medication. 

You should ideally avoid tobacco products and smoking along with giving up recreational drugs or alcohol. You should keep drinking sufficient water along with consuming healthy vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains, and other healthy fats. You should also keep exercising along with restricting your intake of caffeine and consuming prenatal vitamins on a daily basis. 


Is the fetal pole the same as the baby? 

No, the fetal pole is not the developed baby. It is one of the earliest stages of pregnancy and is an embryo. It will steadily grow into the fetus in case of a healthy pregnancy. 

How can you care for your fetal pole? 

Some of the steps include saying goodbye to alcohol and smoking along with avoiding raw eggs and meat. You should also avoid the consumption of unpasteurized dairy products along with consulting your doctor about OTC (over the counter) and other medication. Supplements are also recommended at times. 

What are some other care mechanisms for a healthy fetal pole? 

Some other steps that you can follow include consuming healthy proteins and fruits along with fresh vegetables. You should make sure that you include healthy fats and whole grains in your daily diet along with exercising on the advice of your doctor. You should also take your prenatal vitamins everyday along with limiting overall caffeine consumption. 

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