You have just taken a pregnancy test, and it is positive.
Whether this is good news to you or it is completely unexpected, one of the first things you should do is ensure that the pregnancy is viable.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a non-viable pregnancy can be defined as “a pregnancy that is not growing normally and may end in miscarriage.” The opposite of a non-viable pregnancy is a viable pregnancy, in which a heartbeat can be detected and the pregnancy is progressing normally.
It is of absolute importance that, before you make any decisions at all, you receive medical attention to determine the viability of the pregnancy.
One of the best ways to determine the viability of the pregnancy is through an ultrasound. An ultrasound can help determine if the pregnancy is located inside the uterus (or is ectopic, read here for more information), determine the approximate gestational age, and if the fetus has a heartbeat. It is crucial that the pregnancy is located in the uterus to ensure safety for the mother. When the pregnancy takes place outside of the uterus (ectopic), the mother should seek immediate treatment at either a doctor’s office or emergency room due to the possible severe impact it can have on her body.
It is estimated that between 10%-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, especially in the critical early months. It is most common for a miscarriage to occur before the 12th week of pregnancy. During a miscarriage, the fetus does not develop normally, and the pregnancy ends. This can most often be detected by a lack of heart rate on an ultrasound. For this reason, it is important that when a woman receives a positive on her pregnancy test that she seek medical attention.
If you, or someone you know, might be pregnant, it is important that the viability of the pregnancy is determined. This should happen before any decisions are made regarding the pregnancy.
You can get an ultrasound at absolutely no charge at Advice & Aid. In addition, you can speak with a nurse about any questions and concerns you have.
You aren’t alone. You are welcome here – no judgment, no agenda. Just honest answers and a friend to be by your side for as long as you need!