The Pregnancy Test

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Fetal ultrasound is sometimes offered in nonmedical settings to provide keepsake images or videos for parents. It is best to have an ultrasound performed by trained medical personnel who can correctly interpret the results. Talk with your doctor or midwife if you have questions. An amniocentesis involves taking a small sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus. It is used to diagnose chromosomal disorders and open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.


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Testing is available for other genetic defects and disorders depending on your family history and the availability of lab testing at the time of the procedure. An amniocentesis is generally offered to women between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy who have an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities.

Candidates include women who will be over age 35 at the time of delivery or those who have had an abnormal maternal serum screening test. An amniocentesis involves inserting a long, thin needle through your abdomen into the amniotic sac to withdraw a small sample of amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid contains cells shed by the fetus, which contain genetic information. Although specific details of each procedure may vary, a typical amniocentesis follows this process:.

Your doctor will use ultrasound technology to help guide a hollow needle into the amniotic sac. He or she will withdraw a small sample of fluid for lab analysis.

You may feel some cramping during or after the amniocentesis. Strenuous activities should be avoided for 24 hours following the procedure. Women who are pregnant with twins or other higher-order multiples need sampling from each amniotic sac to study each baby. The fluid is then sent to a genetics lab so that the cells can grow and be analyzed. AFP is also measured to rule out an open neural tube defect. Results are usually available in about 10 days to two weeks, depending on the lab.

What are the signs of pregnancy?

CVS is a prenatal test that involves taking a sample of some of the placental tissue. This tissue contains the same genetic material as the fetus and can be tested for chromosomal abnormalities and some other genetic problems. Testing is available for other genetic defects and disorders, depending on your family history and the availability of lab testing at the time of the procedure. Unlike amniocentesis, CVS does not provide information on open neural tube defects. Therefore, women who undergo CVS also need a follow-up blood test between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy to screen for these defects.

CVS may be offered to women with an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities or who have a family history of a genetic defect that is testable from the placental tissue. CVS is usually performed between the 10th and 13th week of pregnancy. Although exact methods may vary, the procedure involves the following steps:.

Your doctor may also choose to perform a transabdominal CVS, which involves inserting a needle through your abdomen and into your uterus to sample the placental cells. You may feel some cramping during and after either type of CVS procedure. The tissue samples are sent to a genetic lab for growth and analysis. Women with twins or other higher-order multiples usually need sampling from each placenta. However, because of the complexity of the procedure and the positioning of the placentas, CVS is not always feasible or successful with multiples.

Women who are not candidates for CVS or who did not get accurate results from the procedure may require a follow-up amniocentesis. An active vaginal infection, such as herpes or gonorrhea , will prohibit the procedure. In other cases, the doctor may take a sample that does not have enough tissue to grow in the lab, generating incomplete or inconclusive results. During late pregnancy and labor, your doctor may want to monitor the fetal heart rate and other functions. Fetal heart rate monitoring is a method of checking the rate and rhythm of the fetal heartbeat.

The average fetal heart rate is between and beats per minute. This rate may change as the fetus responds to conditions in the uterus. An abnormal fetal heart rate or pattern may mean that the fetus is not getting enough oxygen or indicate other problems. An abnormal pattern also may mean that an emergency cesarean delivery is needed. Using a fetoscope a type of stethoscope to listen to the fetal heartbeat is the most basic type of fetal heart rate monitoring. Another type of monitoring is performed with a hand-held Doppler device. This is often used during prenatal visits to count the fetal heart rate.

During labor, continuous electronic fetal monitoring is often used. Although the specific details of each procedure may vary, standard electronic fetal monitoring follows this process:. The ultrasound transducer is attached to your abdomen with straps so it can transmit the fetal heartbeat to a recorder. The fetal heart rate is displayed on a screen and printed onto special paper. During contractions, an external tocodynamometer a monitoring device that is placed over the top of the uterus with a belt can record the pattern of contractions.

On occasion, internal fetal monitoring is needed to provide a more accurate reading of the fetal heart rate. Your bag of waters amniotic fluid must be broken and your cervix must be partially dilated to use internal monitoring. Internal fetal monitoring involves inserting an electrode through the dilated cervix and attaching the electrode to the scalp of the fetus.

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Common Tests During Pregnancy | Johns Hopkins Medicine

A glucose challenge test is usually conducted between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Abnormal glucose levels may indicate gestational diabetes. The initial one-hour test is a glucose challenge test. If the results are abnormal, a glucose tolerance test is needed. You may be asked to only drink water on the day the glucose tolerance test is given. Although the specific details of each procedure may vary, a typical glucose tolerance test includes the following steps:.

Blood will be drawn at various times over the course of several hours to measure the glucose levels in your body. Group B streptococcus GBS is a type of bacteria found in the lower genital tract of about 20 percent of all women. Hi Sierra Take another pregnancy test when your period is 7 days late for the most accurate result - whether that is a positive or a negative. All the best, Tommy's Midwife. Hi everyone, my last period was on 16th of December and I had sex on 19th of December. I did my pregnancy test on 27th of January and I was told I am 6 weeks pregnant. How possible is that?

Plz help thanks. Hi Jane- 6 weeks is the most pregnant you could be.

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We use the first day of your last menstrual period day, to calculate roughly how pregnant you are, this might change slightly once you have your first ultrasound scan as you don't ever know exactly the date you conceived the pregnancy as sperm can survive in the body up to days after unprotected intercourse. So there is roughly a weeks window in which you could have conceived. All the best.

Tommy's Midwife. My last cycle was 22 Dec I have a paragard in place but I'm a couple of days late, I took a HPT this afternoon and it was negative. Best wishes Tommy's midwife. Had unprotected sex on the 15th and 20 December my period is regular and should have been on the 4th of January had light spotting and little light bleeding on the 3rd and 4th of January nothing like my usual period some cramps on my left side any chance I could be pregnant.

Dear Emmy, The only way of knowing if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If your next period does not come when due, then we would suggest taking a test. Taking a test earlier than this make result in a false negative result. If you think you may be pregnant or if you are trying for a baby, then we would advise you to be taking a daily folic acid supplement if you are not already.

If your cramps are painful or worsening then to contact your GP for a review. Best wishes, Tommy's midwife. I got my period on 17 July and had sex on 24july and used post pill the same day can I get pregnant? If you have not had another period by now, I would advise doing a pregnancy test. If it's negative and your periods are usually regular then you should discuss this with your GP Tommy's midwife. Hi me and my bf been together for 6 months and we was using condoms but we both decided we are ready to have a baby. I did a test today but it was negative but I still feel like I am pregnant as I am having symptoms like feeling dizzy,stomach cramps and feeling knackered.

It's just over a week since we last had unprotected sex, I did my period but it only lasted for three days and we had sex the day after so could I still be pregnant. Hi, there is a possibility that you could be pregnant but normally you need to wait at least weeks following intercourse before pregnancy test would be able to detect a pregnancy. I would advise that if you are trying to conceive then take a folic acid supplement each day and take a pregnancy test if your next period does not come.

Best wishes, Tommy's midwives. I presume you mean that you did an ovulation test on 6th of September not August. It could be that you are pregnant given these symptoms , but the earliest you can test for pregnancy and get a fairly accurate result is about seven to twelve days after the date of conception so around now. However a more accurate result would be to take the test the day you miss your period.


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However if since coming off the pill, your periods are irregular you might not be sure when this is. It could be that the brownish bleed on 1st to 3rd September was your light first period since coming off the pill, so your next period would then be due on 1st October. If you want to have a chat about this , please give one of our Midwives a call on the Pregnancy Line on There is a Midwife available to chat every week day from 9am to 5pm.