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Your question…Am I pregnant?

  • 05 Apr 2018
  • Dr. Afshin PourMirza, MD, Phd, Obstetrics and Gynaecology – Maternal Fetal Medicine, Managing Director of Feto Maternal and GenetYX Center
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You missed your period, a question comes into your mind, am I pregnant?  Next thing you do is take a pregnancy test by using one of those over the counters.  You got 2 lines!  Does this mean you are soon to be a mother? 

It is important to know what a positive or negative result means.  If you get a positive result, you are pregnant, no matter how indistinct the line, color, or sign is. Most of the time, since you doubt the result, you tend to repeat an over the counter pregnancy test.  If you get a positive result, a visit to the obstetrician and taking folic acid are advised.  In fact, if you are really planning to have a baby, you should start folic acid right away.

On your visit to the Obstetrician, your blood will be taken to test for bHcg (beta-human chorionic gonadotropin).  This is a quantitative beta HCG wherein the result is given as a number, indicating the measured concentration of the hormone in the blood.  At this stage, your result will be <400mIU/ml.  You will be asked to comeback since beta HCG level usually doubles approximately every 2 days. If the levels are getting high, it is a clear indication of pregnancy and you will therefore be scheduled for your ultrasound scan between 6-8 weeks. 

A trans-vaginal scan will be performed to:

·         confirm a viable intrauterine pregnancy by achieving a visible embryo pole with a fetal heart beat

·         know the age of the pregnancy by measuring the crown lump length (CRL) or measurement from the top of the head to the bottom of the fetus

·         confirm if it is single or multiple pregnancies

A transvaginal (internal) scan is needed.  In this way the probe gets much closer to the womb and produces a much clearer image. This is more commonly needed in very early pregnancy, for overweight women or have a retroverted uterus.