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Why Do I Need an Ultrasound?

Why Do I Need an Ultrasound?

by PREGNANCY CARE CENTER on November 8, 2021
If you find yourself experiencing an unexpected or unplanned pregnancy, you might experience a range of emotions. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, or confusion if you are not sure what to do. At Pregnancy Care Center of Grants Pass, we understand this news can be hard to wrap your mind around, but we’re here to help you in your decision making process. 

One of the best things you can do before you make any decisions regarding your pregnancy is to confirm that it is viable and how far along you are. When you are aware of these two pieces of information, this will not only confirm if you are actually pregnant, but also help you make the most informed decisions in your situation. In this blog, we will discuss how getting an ultrasound is a vital step in confirming your pregnancy.

Is An At-Home Pregnancy Test Enough? 

A majority of at-home pregnancy tests, sold in stores, state that they are 99% accurate when taken correctly. However, even though this is the way most women find out if they are pregnant or not, it is still important to see a healthcare professional to confirm a pregnancy.
Healthcare professionals agree that this should be a woman’s next step if she thinks she may be pregnant. As the Mayo Clinic states

“Although rare, it's possible to get a positive result from a home pregnancy test when you're not actually pregnant. This is known as a false-positive. A false-positive might happen if you had a pregnancy loss soon after the fertilized egg attached to your uterine lining (biochemical pregnancy) or you take a pregnancy test too soon after taking a fertility drug that contains HCG. An ectopic pregnancy, menopause, or problems with your ovaries also might contribute to misleading test results.” 

If you’ve taken an at-home pregnancy test already, the next best step before making any decisions is to go to a medical clinic or doctor to confirm with a lab-quality urine test and an ultrasound to determine if you are pregnant or not. 

At Pregnancy Care Center of Grants Pass, we offer free and confidential lab-quality pregnancy tests and limited OB ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy. Give us a call today at 541.479.6264 or visit us online to schedule your free confirmation appointment.

Is My Pregnancy Viable?

In addition to confirming you’re pregnant, an ultrasound is done by a healthcare professional and will help you find out if your pregnancy is viable. 

Viability is defined as: “capable of living or growing.” Although you may have received a positive result at home or at a clinic, it doesn’t confirm if your pregnancy is growing properly or not. 

Viability can be found out as early as six weeks gestational age and is based on where the pregnancy is located. This cannot be discovered by a pregnancy test alone. Pregnancy viability is determined by getting a first-trimester ultrasound. There are usually a few main factors a medical professional is looking for when confirming a pregnancy through an ultrasound: 

Confirming the embryo’s location

Location is extremely important in pregnancy viability, and an ultrasound can confirm if it is located where it should be in the uterus. If a baby is developing outside of the uterus, it’s called an ectopic pregnancy. This means the fertilized egg has attached itself to something else such as a fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix. The fertilized egg can only grow properly in the uterus.

It is crucial to every pregnant woman’s health to determine pregnancy location because an ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical attention before it results in a medical emergency. 

As stated on Healthline:

 “Ectopic pregnancies aren’t safe for the mother. Also, the embryo won’t be able to develop to term. It’s necessary to remove the embryo as soon as possible for the mother’s immediate health and long-term fertility.” 

Confirming baby’s heart motion. 

After confirming the embryo’s location and seeing that the baby is developing safely inside of the uterus, a healthcare professional will then use an ultrasound to see if the baby has a heartbeat. This can typically take place around 6 weeks 3 days gestational age, but as early as 6 weeks depending on the baby’s positioning. 

Confirming the number of babies present in the uterus. 

Once your baby’s location has been determined and the heartbeat has been detected, the healthcare professional will use the ultrasound to confirm the number of babies in the uterus. 

Confirming your baby's gestational age. 

An ultrasound will be able to accurately tell you how far along you are, based on the baby’s size, and give you a more accurate estimated due date.

How We Can Help 

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and have only taken an at-home pregnancy test, your next best step is to confirm your pregnancy with a clinic. At Pregnancy Care Center of Grants Pass, all of our free and confidential services are here to help you get some clarity. 

After receiving a lab quality pregnancy test at our center, a limited OB ultrasound performed by one of our licensed nurses will help determine if your pregnancy is viable by confirming both the location of the pregnancy and the baby’s cardiac activity. We will also be able to help you determine your estimated due date.

If you just found out you’re pregnant and are looking for support in your first steps and decisions, our medical center is ready to help. Call 541.479.6264 or go online to schedule an appointment. Our compassionate and understanding staff can not only confirm your pregnancy, but also offer you perspective, guidance, and resources. And no need to worry about the cost - all our services are free of charge! We look forward to meeting you!