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Pregnancy, Round Ligament Pain (cont.)

Exams and Tests

If you need to go to the emergency department, the emergency doctor will examine you to make sure no acute life-threatening condition exists. The basic examination if you have lower abdominal pain typically includes an abdominal, pelvic, and digital rectal examination. Although the exam may be uncomfortable, important diagnostic findings on the physical examination will direct the doctor into ordering appropriate laboratory tests. Ultimately, this will enhance the doctor’s knowledge of your condition and further direct your treatment plan.

  • The doctor may also order some basic laboratory tests, which will help to assess the overall health of you and your baby.

    • A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that detects anemia or a possible infection. Often, pregnant women will be slightly anemic. Your white blood cell count may be slightly higher, which is normal in pregnancy.

    • A urine sample may be tested.

      • Pregnant women with lower abdominal pain may have a urinary tract infection. This could place you and your unborn baby at risk for severe prenatal complications.

      • Often, severe flank pain may represent the passage of a kidney stone. The finding of blood in your urine may assist in making this diagnosis.

  • The doctor may perform an ultrasound of the pelvis if you are not sure of the exact date you became pregnant or if the pain represents a more life-threatening condition

    • Ectopic pregnancy remains the most life threatening of disorders in early pregnancy.

    • Ovarian cysts are common in early pregnancy and tend to rupture. When a ruptured cyst produces blood in your pelvis, it may be difficult to distinguish from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

    • An ultrasound may detect appendicitis.

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