Women looking to confirm a suspected pregnancy typically undergo two tests: ultrasound and a pregnancy test. The specialists and staff at Woman's First Choice in Arcadia, California, understand the need to know and that starts with a lab quality pregnancy test and imaging to see inside the uterus. These are the simplest ways to get the answers you need to make an informed decision.
Most women take a home pregnancy test if they think they might be pregnant, so why repeat the test? The test a doctor does at Woman's First Choice may or may not be different than a home test. A simple urine test done in the office is the same thing, but it necessary to rule out an error in the home test, which is why it's important to repeat it at the office.
An OB specialist may also opt to do a blood test. They come in two forms:
The qualitative hCG test just looks for a hormone only present during pregnancy. The Quantitative hCG test measures the level of that hormone. These tests help track problems that can occur during a pregnancy, rule out an ectopic pregnancy, or monitor hCG blood levels after a miscarriage to ensure they drop.
Ultrasounds, sometimes called a sonogram, are done routinely during a pregnancy to watch the developing fetus. It's probably one of the things most expecting parents look forward to most because it's a chance to actually see the baby as it grows. In some cases, an ultrasound isn't about pregnancy, but a way to see inside the pelvic cavity to view the uterus and to rule out abnormal growths.
An ultrasound works by sending out sound waves that help develop a picture of the baby and uterus. The sound waves bounce off of solid objects. The machine reads those reflected waves to figure out the size and shape of the fetus.
Early in the pregnancy, your doctor at Woman's First Choice may opt to do a transvaginal sonogram to determine fetal age or if there is an ectopic pregnancy. They may insert an ultrasound wand into the vagina to see what is going on in the pelvic cavity. The procedure is painless and completely safe. Later on, the ultrasound is done externally through your abdominal wall over your uterus. Both provide valuable information for both the doctor and patient.