A Healthy Pregnancy: Should You See Your Family Doctor Or OB/GYN After Conceiving?

  • OB/GYN - Women's Health
  • pregnancy - TTC - women's health
  • August 7, 2023

After a positive pregnancy test, women may question what doctor to see. OB/GYNs are the pregnancy specialist needed.

Seeing An OB/GYN To Confirm Pregnancy

Apositive pregnancy test can usher in a flurry of excitement. However, the next big question many women have is when to see a doctor. Although family doctors and OB/GYNs can both confirm a pregnancy, pregnant women will generally want to establish care with the latter. An OB/GYN is a pregnancy specialist who can guide women through the next 9 months.


From TTC to positive test

Some women try to conceive (TTC) for many months, while others get pregnant on the first attempt. For another 45% of women, pregnancy is entirely unplanned. Whatever the timeline, a positive pregnancy test often comes as a big surprise. Most tests can detect the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone starting around 4 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP), which is how pregnancy is dated. Women with irregular cycles or people not planning a pregnancy may take longer to recognize early pregnancy symptoms and test.

Checking hCG levels

Many women who get a positive test think an immediate trip to the doctor is required. However, that is usually not the case with an uncomplicated pregnancy. Any doctor can order blood work to check hCG levels in the early weeks of pregnancy. This is not required, but women with a history of pregnancy loss may want additional reassurance. If any bleeding or cramping occurs, a doctor can also order an hCG test to see how the pregnancy is progressing.

The long wait

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, the wait to see a doctor can feel excruciatingly long. However, the mom-to-be can check a few essential items off the to-do list during this time. Although the first prenatal appointment doesn’t happen until later in the first trimester, the woman can research doctors and call to schedule the appointment now. Mom should also make sure to purchase a good prenatal vitamin containing folic acid. Healthy lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol, eating well, staying hydrated, and checking medication safety can also occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Baby’s ultrasound debut

The first prenatal appointment is typically scheduled for 7-8 weeks from LMP to confirm pregnancy. Although a family doctor can perform this appointment, most women schedule with an OB/GYN as this is the specialist the patient will see for the duration of the pregnancy and delivery. At this first visit, blood work will be done to check for infections, assess iron level, and determine blood type. An ultrasound will also be performed to give the patient an estimated due date (EDD) and confirm viability. Any questions the mom has can be addressed at this time.

An OB/GYN is the right choice

Pregnancy is an exciting time with lots of appointments to keep track of. Although family doctors can confirm pregnancy, the OB/GYN is the best person to see to establish prenatal care, get an ultrasound, and ask any questions. Finding a trusted and likable OB/GYN is important as the pregnant woman will see this specialist often over the next 9 months and beyond.

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