Confirming your pregnancy
blood; urine; test; kits; human; chorionic; gonadotrophin; hCG; missed; period; due; date; unplanned; infoline; pregnancy; pregnant; south; Australia; Adelaide; confirm; confirming; ;
As soon as you think you could be pregnant, you should check to find out if you are. There are several ways to find out if you are in fact pregnant:
- you can have a blood test
- you can test your urine at home with a home pregnancy test
- you can have your urine tested by your doctor
- your doctor can do an internal examination.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will want to start thinking about the type of care you want throughout your pregnancy and the birth. If you are in the workforce this is also the time to find out about your rights at work and about maternity leave.
Topics you might be interested in:
For many women, pregnancy is a planned event and finding out they are pregnant is a very happy time. For a number of women, pregnancy is unplanned and not wanted. The topic 'Pregnancy counselling' may be helpful.
A blood test
A blood test will give you a reliable result, even at the earliest stage of pregnancy. Your doctor will order the blood test that will check for the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), in your blood. You can have this test done as soon as you have missed your period.
You can buy pregnancy urine testing kits from your local pharmacy.
- Make sure you follow the instructions on the test very carefully to get the most accurate result.
- If you are taking fertility drugs or you are an older woman, you may get false results.
- If you first do the test soon after your missed period and the result is negative (it says you aren't pregnant), you may want to do the test again two weeks later when the results will be more reliable. Many home pregnancy test kits include two tests for this very reason.
You can also have a urine test done at a hospital clinic, by your doctor, or at family planning clinics.
At least two weeks after your missed period, your doctor can examine you internally to check for changes in your uterus and cervix (the lowest part of your uterus (womb)). When you are pregnant, your doctor will be able to tell that your cervix has changed colour and is softer. Your uterus is already getting bigger in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Most doctors will still do a blood or urine test to confirm your pregnancy.
Once you know you are pregnant your doctor or midwife will help you work out when your baby is due (the 'estimated date of confinement' or EDC). This is done by adding 40 weeks to the date of the beginning of your last period.
You could work this out by using a Baby due date calculator like the one on the Better Health Channel (http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/). There is more information in their topic 'Baby due date'
Once your pregnancy is confirmed
If your own doctor was not the doctor who confirmed your pregnancy, you should now make an appointment to see your regular doctor.
This is also the time to start thinking about the type of antenatal care you want to have throughout your pregnancy.
- Antenatal care is the professional healthcare that you receive when you are pregnant.
- It is up to you to decide who you want to get antenatal care from, and there are many choices depending on where you live.
- If you live in a rural or remote area you will usually see your family doctor.
To learn more about the different types of care choices available, go to the topic 'Types of care during pregnancy and birth in South Australia'.
SA Referral LIne (South Australia)
In South Australia if you plan to have your baby at a public hospital in Adelaide you need to talk to your own doctor or call the Pregnancy SA Referral Line on 1300 368 820 (8.30am to 5pm – Monday to Friday). The Pregnancy SA Infoline connects women to their closest public maternity service where an appointment can be made. At this first antenatal appointment staff will discuss birthing options.
If you plan to have your baby in the country you should talk with your doctor about how to organise this.
If you going to be a private patient your doctor will refer you to an obstetrician who will provide your antenatal care and help you arrange your hospital booking.
If your pregnancy was not planned, you have probably got many issues that you want to sort out. If you are feeling confused or overwhelmed by your pregnancy, you may need some special support or counselling. If you are very young or alone, it can be especially important to find someone who can offer you support and understanding. The topic 'Pregnancy counselling' may be helpful.
The 'Professional agencies to contact for help and counselling' topic and the topic 'Community agencies for advice and support' will provide you with more information about the types of support services that are available.
If you are considering not continuing the pregnancy you could look at the topic 'Termination of pregnancy (abortion)'.
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.