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In this day and age, we are more informed than ever before. The internet has enabled news, content, and information to be available 24/7, but sometimes this information can be more confusing than helpful. Pregnancy is already a delicate topic to broach and without accurate information, it can be easy to feel uncertain and uneasy when facing an unplanned pregnancy. For example, the term, “pregnancy viability” is sometimes confused with a positive pregnancy test result.

What Is Viability?

Pregnancy viability sounds simple, but its meaning is a more complex. Clinically speaking, viable pregnancies are those in which the fetus can be born with a reasonable chance of survival. A non-viable pregnancy is one where the fetus has little to no chance of being born alive. These chances are somewhat subject to change based on the stage of the pregnancy, hospital, or doctor. The definitions of viability and non-viability are ultimately defined in attempts to prevent unnecessary termination.

Types of Non-Viability

There are several types of non-viable pregnancies that can arise for different reasons. Some are more general such as a pregnancy with no heartbeat, a congenital defect with low survival rates, or impossible survival of a premature birth. Other types have been given names because they are more common:

  • Anembryonic Gestation: also known as a blighted ovum, pregnancy does not progress.
  • Chemical Pregnancy: fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus
  • Ectopic Pregnancy: fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, which can be a dangerous and sometimes life-threatening
  • Molar Pregnancy: fertilized egg implants in the uterus but is incapable of surviving

How To Find Out

As mentioned before, a positive pregnancy test does not mean your pregnancy is viable. Nor does it confirm that you are actually pregnant. A pregnancy test result means there is a hormone, hCG, present in your urine. The only way to confirm a pregnancy and identify viability is to have an ultrasound. During an ultrasound, the sonographer can determine a viable pregnancy. She can see where the egg has implanted and identify any possible issues the pregnancy could have.

Why Rockville?

At Rockville Women’s Center, we offer no-cost consultations for women facing an unplanned pregnancy in the DC and surrounding areas. Our facility provides confidential and compassionate care to inform and empower women to make the best decision for their pregnancy. Your consultation includes a pregnancy test, limited STD screening, and an ultrasound to provide you with all the information necessary. We also pair you with a personal advocate to help guide you through these tests, their results, and your options. To make your appointment, give us a call or visit our website to conveniently schedule your appointment and learn more about what to expect while you’re here!