Confirming your pregnancy
blood; urine; test; kits; human; chorionic; gonadotrophin; hCG; missed; period; due; date; unplanned; infoline; pregnancy; pregnant; south; Australia; Adelaide; confirm; confirming; ;
There are several ways to find out if you are in fact pregnant: a blood test; a home pregnancy urine test; a urine test or internal examination by your doctor.
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 test your urine at home with a home pregnancy test
- you can have a blood test ordered by your doctor
- 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 options counselling' may be helpful.
When you think you might be around 5 weeks pregnant (5 weeks after the beginning of your last period) - when you have missed your next period and you’ve been sexually active - it could be a good time to do a home pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests measure the amount of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Different kits show results in different ways, so read and follow the instructions carefully.
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 by your doctor, at a hospital clinic, or at family planning clinics.
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.
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 Pregnancy, birth and baby website (http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/#!/). There is more information in their topic 'Am I pregnant?'
Once your pregnancy is confirmed
This is the time to start thinking about the type of antenatal care you want to have throughout your pregnancy.
If your own doctor was not the doctor who confirmed your pregnancy, you should now make an appointment to see your regular doctor who can help you make decisions about the care you can have. Usually your GP will not be the person who provides your antenatal care.
- 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 in South Australia, go to the topic 'Types of care during pregnancy and birth in South Australia'.
Similar services will be available in other parts of Australia and your GP will be able to help you find the service that best fits you.
SA Referral LIne (South Australia)
If you live in metropolitan Adelaide or Gawler and plan on having your baby in a public hospital, ring this number to arrange your first appointment.
- 1300 368 820 - 8.30am to 4.45pm, Monday to Friday
- You will be allocated to the hospital closest to your home.
The Pregnancy SA Referral line 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. You do not need to call the Pregnancy SA Referral Line.
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 options 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)'.
Pregnancy, birth and baby Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is a national Australian Government service providing support and information for expecting parents and parents of children, from birth to 5 years of age.
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.