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How is it diagnosed?


Pregnancy is diagnosed using a biochemical urine test. When the woman notices the absence of menstruation, a test can be performed at home (with any of the systems sold at drugstores) to detect the presence of what is called a pregnancy hormone or chorionic gonadotropin hormone ( HCG).

HCG is present in the urine from the 20th day after fertilization. So, with a urine test, to find out if a woman is pregnant will have to wait about a week or so from the date she was expecting to menstruate. If you want to have an early determination, a blood test can be done because the HCG is already present in the blood from the 10th day post-fertilization.


In the absence of biochemical tests, there are other signs that indicate gestation status:

  • Maintained increase in basal temperature curve in the second part of the cycle.
  • Breast changes: increased size and sensitivity, colostrum (first milk), darkening of the nipple and areola.
  • Growth of the abdomen.
  • Growth of the uterus (from the 12th week onwards, it can be palpated through the abdomen, above the pubis).
  • The cervix, which has a consistency similar to the tip of the nose (cartilaginous tissue), becomes softer, which can be checked by vaginal touch.
  • Perception of fetal movements (from the 20th week of gestation onwards in women expecting the first child and earlier than the second).
  • Perception of fetal parts on abdominal palpation.
  • Fetal heart rate (FCF) auscultation, either through the Doppler effect (external FCF monitors) or with the Pinard stethoscope.
  • Ultrasound. From week 6, pregnancy can be diagnosed with visualization of the gestational sac (small vesicle 2 mm in diameter inside which the embryo grows); by the 7th week the embryo and fetal heartbeat (fetal heart) are already perceived.


"How is it diagnosed?" d'Virtual Nurse, content under license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 ES, with modifications made by the Gynecology and Obstetrics Service of the Hospital de Sabadell