If you are in the early stages of your pregnancy, you have probably recently seen an ob gyn doctor. Sometimes the initial OB visit can be a little nerve-wracking. You may not know how far along you are or how secure the pregnancy is. Have you ever had the experience of having your doctor do or say something and then you are left with the question of why? As human beings, we sometimes naturally assume the worst in situations. This is especially true when hormones play a big role, as they do in pregnancy. While you are in your first trimester there is around a 1 in 10 chance that the pregnancy could end in a miscarriage. During your initial visit, your doctor may do or say things you may not completely understand. For example, your doctor may order blood work, perform special ultrasounds, or ask you to come back in a few weeks. Instead of assuming that you are miscarrying, here are a few reasons why your doctor acted in this manner.
In movies, no one ever has to get a transvaginal ultrasound. You only see the normal ultrasounds that are done on the woman's belly. However, it is very difficult to see exactly what is going on in your uterus during the early stages of pregnancy with a normal ultrasound wand. For this reason, your doctor may order a transvaginal ultrasound. This allows the doctor to get much closer to the uterus, allowing them to see small details when there is not much to see.
Quantitative HCG Testing
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone produced in the body during pregnancy. This hormone is emitted from the placenta and tells a lot about your pregnancy. The level of HCG in your body should double daily during pregnancy. In women who are miscarrying, the level of HCG will either stay the same or begin to decline. However, doctors often order this test in the early stages of pregnancy as a baseline. Also, in women who are pregnant with twins, HCG levels are usually much higher. Your doctor may have some suspicion about how many babies you will have from your initial HCG.
Follow Up In A Few Weeks
The simple truth is that there is not much to see on an ultrasound before 7 weeks. This is usually the earliest you can hear the heartbeat. Some physicians attempt to do ultrasounds earlier, but usually only a yolk sac is visible. Your doctor may ask you to follow up in a few weeks just to give your baby time to grow a little bit. This is not indicative of any problems.
Ask your ob gyn doctor about any questions you have during your pregnancy.