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How soon can a doctor tell if you're pregnant?

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Jun 18, 2011, 3:32pm   #1
serafina's Avatar
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serafina
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My friend is due to have her period on Monday or so, and went today out of pure excitement and curiosity to her gyn to get checked out for pregnancy.

The urine came back negative and ultrasound showed no baby.

She's convinced it was too early for the doctor to be able to tell. AS per my understanding, it isnt and I think she might just be in denial. Am I wrong, I dont want to burst her bubble of hope by telling her something wrong but I dont want her to live in an illusion either.
Jun 18, 2011, 3:41pm   #2
TallulahJane's Avatar
TallulahJane
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It is definitely to early to see a baby via u/s. You can only see the gestational sac at around 5w of pregnancy and prior to that an ultrasound will show no signs of pregnancy. As per the urine test, I was positive a few days before my period, but she should have a blood test to confirm her hcg levels and they would know for sure if she could possibly be pregnant. Some people will test negative throughout their entire pregnancy so it is possible she is pregnant.
Jun 18, 2011, 3:54pm   #3
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nooch
Judge Roughneck
A hpt should show positive 19 days after the sex in question. There are some people who won't test positive, but that's not the norm.
Jun 18, 2011, 5:31pm   #4
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alliemia
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What gyn does an ultrasound before menstrual period is even due? And blood test would make more sense than urine test. Just have to wait it out a bit.
Jun 18, 2011, 6:35pm   #5
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qudz104
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i would def think its very early. also a little OT but i dont think many insurances cover u/s that early on in the pregnancy. i know mine didnt when i went in for a 6 week one. of course i didnt know that then. if your friend is planning on having another, maybe she can wait off till a positive hpt?
Jun 18, 2011, 8:51pm   #6
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HauteMama
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I agree that it would be VERY unusual for a dr. to suggest an u/s before the period was even due; that doesn't even make sense. A blood test is considered the best way to check for pregnancy, especially early on. But although I can understand someone being excited and anxious, it doesn't even make sense to call a dr. at least until an HPT is positive or the period is late.

So there is no definitive way of telling whether she is pregnant right now; an u/s is pointless and it may be too early for a urine test. They should have taken a blood test, but as it stands, she ought to wait another week and test with first morning urine with an HPT. If that is negative, she needs to wait another week and THEN contact her dr. if her period has still not arrived.
Jun 19, 2011, 10:08am   #7
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pinkgoldfish
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She should definately do a blood test
Jun 19, 2011, 10:31am   #8
i
irainei
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I was 4 weeks along when my HPT detected I was pregnant (and the dr.'s urine test) which was a week after my expected period was due. I only remember this because my initial US showed I was only 6 weeks along instead of 8 and that appointment was 2 weeks after I had found out.

Blood tests would be more accurate at this point.
Jun 19, 2011, 10:55am   #9
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illinirdhd
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HPTs are very accurate. I guess I don't see spending the money (or asking one's insurance to!) to see a doctor and get a blood test before the time that a HPT would detect pregnancy, unless there is some cause for concern. Maybe it's different in different areas of the country or other countries, but when I was pregnant with DS, my OB's office didn't really want to see me until about a month after my positive HPT. I ended up waiting a little longer because we moved cross-county -- I think I was about 12 weeks at my first appt, and the in-office ultrasound only confirmed what the HPT had told me weeks before. Also, don't U/Ss in the first 8 weeks or so need to be done internally to be accurate?
Jun 19, 2011, 11:09am   #10
alliemia's Avatar
alliemia
love shopping!!!
Yes, transvaginal ultrasound for early pregnancies, most drs don't even have that machine in-office. I'd take what your friend said with a grain of salt. Doesn't sound very believable.
Jun 19, 2011, 12:14pm   #11
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HauteMama
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^ Agreed. I had completely forgotten that early u/s needed to be done transvaginally. I never had an u/s until much later in pregnancy, but it is true that most dr.s send their patients to an u/s tech regardless of whether the u/s is transvaginal or transabdominal. It would be VERY unusual for a dr. to do that spontaneously in-office. And again, it would make NO SENSE to do an u/s before comfirming pregnancy via a more reliable method this early.

Most dr.s won't even entertain the idea of seeing a patient before about 8 weeks (and sometimes not until 12) unless the patient is very high risk, in which case they would be sent to a specialist (AFTER the confirmation of pregnancy). I can guarantee a specialist would not have the extra time to pull out an u/s wand for an unconfirmed pregnancy!

So, overall, I;d have to agree with alliema; I am not sure your friend is telling you the whole story.
Jun 19, 2011, 3:15pm   #12
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TallulahJane
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Originally Posted by HauteMama
^ Agreed. I had completely forgotten that early u/s needed to be done transvaginally. I never had an u/s until much later in pregnancy, but it is true that most dr.s send their patients to an u/s tech regardless of whether the u/s is transvaginal or transabdominal. It would be VERY unusual for a dr. to do that spontaneously in-office. And again, it would make NO SENSE to do an u/s before comfirming pregnancy via a more reliable method this early.

Most dr.s won't even entertain the idea of seeing a patient before about 8 weeks (and sometimes not until 12) unless the patient is very high risk, in which case they would be sent to a specialist (AFTER the confirmation of pregnancy). I can guarantee a specialist would not have the extra time to pull out an u/s wand for an unconfirmed pregnancy!

So, overall, I;d have to agree with alliema; I am not sure your friend is telling you the whole story.
I had a transvaginal u/s in office by my ob at 6w to confirm pregnancy so it is not that uncommon. Most all of my friends have had 6w ultrasounds as well.

Now before 6w and before a pos hpt, I would say that is very uncommon for an ob to do a u/s, but the op stated in another thread that her friend was complaining of all the symptoms of a pregnancy such as pressure and pain in her ovary so the ob may have done an u/s to rule out any other abnormalities. Just a thought!
Jun 19, 2011, 3:27pm   #13
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qudz104
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i had a normal u/s at 6 weeks... i guess i didnt need one at the time but i didnt want to tell people till i was 100% sure.
Jun 20, 2011, 12:13am   #14
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serafina
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Sorry I should have clarified.

My friend was having weird pain in her back and left side so she went for an emergency visit and told them about having unprotected sex so they could test her for that as well. They did the transvaginal ultrasound to check if maybe she had any cysts or any such problems, which she didn't and no positive pregnancy results either.
Jun 20, 2011, 8:38am   #15
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Tuesdays Child
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Originally Posted by serafina
My friend is due to have her period on Monday or so, and went today out of pure excitement and curiosity to her gyn to get checked out for pregnancy.

She's convinced it was too early for the doctor to be able to tell. AS per my understanding, it isnt and I think she might just be in denial. Am I wrong, I dont want to burst her bubble of hope by telling her something wrong but I dont want her to live in an illusion either.
Originally Posted by serafina
Sorry I should have clarified.

My friend was having weird pain in her back and left side so she went for an emergency visit and told them about having unprotected sex so they could test her for that as well.
OK. I am confused. Did she go out of pure excitement or because she was having weird back pain? With results being negative I would imagine that she wouldn't be too sad since it was perhaps the result of an unprotected act yet she will be in denial and you will be bursting her bubble if she is not pregnant?
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