AM I Really Pregnant???

questionmarkAbout a week before finding out I was pregnant, I was having severe sharp left sided lower abdominal pain. I didn’t think much of it. I figured I just had an ovarian cyst that was causing a lot of discomfort but because of my busy work schedule I did not have time to get it checked out. This is when I wish I knew less about medicine…the second I found out I was pregnant I got worried….could this pain be because of the pregnancy? I’m I having an ectopic pregnancy?

The day after I found out I am pregnant, I started to worry about all the things that could cause severe abdominal pain in pregnancy; including a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy. Later that day, Tuesday March 26th, I called my OB and explained my positive pregnancy test but with this associated left sided pain. Having similar concerns that I had, she scheduled me for a stat (right away) ultrasound and blood work. The following day, Wednesday March 27th, I went and had my blood work done (she was checking for my hCG hormone levels) and my first ultrasound. Unfortunately, the ultrasound did not show much. There was no gestational sac (the first sign of pregnancy), but thankfully there was nothing visible in my fallopian tubes concerning for an ectopic pregnancy. The fallopian tubes are the area of greatest concern for an ectopic pregnancy. After my ultrasound, my nurse practitioner told me to have a low threshold to go to the emergency room if my pain significantly worsened or if I began to bleed. My husband and I were devastated that there was nothing in my uterus. We went home and I basically cried that entire night. The following day, Thursday March 28th, we got to meet with my actual OB. That visit was a bit more reassuring. She told me my hCG level was 400, which meant I was pregnant, but it was early in the pregnancy. However, based on my last menstrual period (LMP), I was supposed to already be 4 weeks and 5 days, which in reality something, ie gestational sac should show on the ultrasound. We had a repeat ultrasound that day. Again, nothing in my uterus, but there was some signs that the wall of my uterus was beginning to get thicker, which is a sign of early pregnancy! With that being said, my husband and I were still nervous, but our hopes were up a little more. The doctor said to come back that following Monday for yet another ultrasound…

Pregnancy Test – Is a faint line considered positive?

faintpeestick

If you read my Missed Period post, you know that I took one too many necessary pregnancy tests to confirm I was actually pregnant.  I thought I would take a quick moment to explain a positive pregnancy test and the accuracy so you do not end up spending over $50 on pregnancy test confirming one after the next like I did. A pregnancy test is made to detect your bodies level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) horomone. This hormone is produced by your bodies fertilized egg after conception…that is after you are officially pregnant. Point being, if you are not pregnant, your body will likely not be producing this hormone. That is why, even a faint line on a pregnancy test is still considered positive. There are several reasons a pregnancy test may be faint. It could be that you are earlier than you think. New pregnancy tests are made with immense sensitivity therefore they can detect even the smallest amount of hCG in your urine. In a normal pregnancy, the level of hCG hormone should double every 48-72 hours therefore if you wait two to three days after taking a pregnancy test that is faint, it is likely that if the pregnancy is viable, your repeat test will be more solid and obvious. So lesson learned…you do not have to take six pregnancy tests to confirm that you are pregnant. That one first positive pregnancy test is all you need. If you have a positive pregnancy test, please make sure to contact your OB-Gyn/primary care physician to schedule an appointment and development of routine care. Additionally, if you are not already doing so, start those prenatal vitamins NOW!!!! Make sure they have folic acid and DHA in them. See my prenatal vitamin post on vitamin details.

Side note: if your initially pee stick is faint and your repeat tests continue to be faint then a few days later the test is completely negative, you may have had an early miscarriage. This is not uncommon at all. It is estimated that about 20-30% of pregnancies result in miscarriage. In fact, often times it occurs before you know you are even pregnant. If you think you are having or have had a miscarriage, please contact your medical professional immediately.