Any woman looking to become pregnant knows how to test for pregnancy. You know to purchase a home pregnancy test and use it first thing in the morning to test your urine for the pregnancy hormone, hCG. If the hormone is present, the test is positive. You're pregnant. If the hormone is not present, the test is negative. You aren't pregnant. It sounds simple enough. However, it's not that simple. There are several factors to consider when it comes to pregnancy tests and how they work. While home pregnancy tests are very reliable in most situations, doctors have their own method of checking for pregnancy that you should understand.
How Do Doctors Test For Pregnancy In The Office?
When you think you are pregnant, you will make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will then test to ensure that you are pregnant. One way they will do this is with a standard pregnancy test. Upon filling out all the necessary information at the doctor's office, you will be asked to provide a sample of your urine and give it to one of the nurses or place it in a container on the wall and turn the container around to a small lab for the nurses to test. They will then use a very simple pregnancy test, called a test strip, to test your urine. If you are pregnant, a second line will appear on the test strip. If you are not, then no line will appear.
The test strip works like the same pregnancy test you take at home. It detects the pregnancy hormone in your urine. The pregnancy hormone is something your body produces only when you are with child. This hormone doesn't begin to show up in your body right away, even though many women think that they can test for pregnancy right after their ovulation dates. In fact, you're not even pregnant when your egg is fertilized.
You are not considered pregnant until your fertilized eggs travels through your fallopian tubes and implants itself in to your uterine wall. This is when your body begins to produce hCG. This process takes a few days to more than a week, depending entirely on your body. Additionally, it takes a few days to a week after your egg implants before you can even begin to detect the hCG in your urine. This is because the levels are so low to begin with and then it takes days at a time for the levels to double. For most women, it takes two to three days. Others take longer. Additionally, it also depends on the sensitivity of the pregnancy test.
Most doctor's offices no not use very sensitive tests because their patients come for prenatal appointments after they've received a positive test result. Additionally, most doctors don't even see patients until well into their first trimester, which means a sensitive test is certainly not needed.
How Do Doctors Test For Pregnancy Using Alternative Methods?
The other common method in which doctors test for pregnancy is with a blood pregnancy test. Typically, your doctor will send you to a lab to have this test taken. All it consists of is having a little blood drawn from one of your veins. It is then tested for hCG. This is an exceptionally reliable way to tell whether or not you are pregnancy because the blood test can actually determine your level of hCG. Most doctors use this as a rough estimate of approximately how far along you are in your pregnancy.
The main difference between the two answers to the question, "How do doctors test for pregnancy?" is that some doctors use both methods and others don't. Additionally, if you've been taking fertility drugs and your doctor wants to test for pregnancy, he will use a blood test because fertility drugs contain hCG and can have an effect on the outcome of your pregnancy test. This is the most common way in which people end up with false positive pregnancy results on an at-home pregnancy test.
What happens after your doctor is able to confirm your pregnancy is really dependent on your doctor. He or she will not require you take a pregnancy test at each visit, but you will always be asked to provide your urine. This is for other reasons. Your urine might also tell you whether or not you have protein and/or other chemicals in your urine. If you do, they could indicate other issues such as gestational diabetes. Your doctor will check this at each visit.
Additionally, your positive pregnancy urine and/or blood test might be all you have at first to tell you're pregnant, aside from your missing period. Many doctors do not perform early ultrasounds, which means you'll only have one at the 20 week mark. Other doctors, however, like to perform an ultrasound early. It all depends. Once you are confirmed pregnant, your doctor will see you once a month for the two trimesters. After that, you will visit the doctor twice a month for part of the third. Then it will be weekly until you deliver.
It's an exciting time in a woman's life. Even though you very likely tested for pregnancy at home, finding out that you are pregnant through your doctor always seems more official. It's when things begin to feel real and the excitement of being pregnant and creating a new life begin to sink in.
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