Early Ultrasounds & hCG Levels

By: Dr. Chris Roberts, M.D.

During my oversight of Choices Medical Services in Joplin, Missouri, we have provided thousands of medical services to men and women, which include pregnancy testing, limited obstetrical ultrasounds and STI testing and treatment. For our female clients, we offer a limited obstetrical ultrasound at the time of her pregnancy test appointment. If we are unable to confirm intrauterine pregnancy at the first ultrasound, we will either offer a repeat ultrasound in one to two weeks or implement our standing order for quantitative hCG levels (through blood draw) with certain inconclusive ultrasounds.

By implementing the quantitative hCG standing order with inconclusive ultrasounds, a “safety net” is provided to the medical staff to prevent missing valuable information. By drawing one quantitative hCG level and then repeating the draw in 48 hours, we receive both results by the third day and obtain important information quickly – much quicker than having them return for a repeat US in one to two weeks. This is extremely helpful with clients that either have irregular menses or do not remember their LMP.

The lab results are received in an easy and timely manner. Each lab company will be slightly different, but we receive our hCG results within one business day – either electronically or via fax. Increasing hCG levels will typically result in an offer of a repeat ultrasound, while decreasing hCG levels will result in a referral for ER or OB-GYN services.

At Choices Medical Services, we have been pleased with the results we have witnessed by offering the early limited obstetrical ultrasounds and quantitative hCG levels. And, ultimately, the hCG levels provide a needed service for our clients, while protecting our medical licensure through accurate and thorough medical services.

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