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The diagnosis of pregnancy requires a multifaceted approach using 3 main diagnostic tools.
These are history and physical examination, laboratory evaluation, and ultrasonography.
Pregnancy is typically divided into three trimesters.
The first trimester is from week one through 12 and includes conception. The fertilized egg then travels down the fallopian tube and attaches to the inside of the uterus, where it begins to form the embryo and placenta. Around the middle of the second trimester, movement of the fetus may be felt.
Term pregnancy is 37 to 41 weeks, with early term being 37 and 38 weeks, full term 39 and 40 weeks, and late term 41 weeks. Babies born before 37 weeks are preterm and are at higher risk of health problems such as cerebral palsy.
The diagnosis of pregnancy has traditionally been made based on history and physical examination findings.
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When expectant management is chosen, most experts recommend beginning twice-weekly antenatal surveillance at 41 weeks with biophysical profile or nonstress testing plus amniotic fluid index (modified biophysical profile); induction may be deferred until 42 weeks if this surveillance is reassuring.
Postterm pregnancy is defined as that lasting beyond 294 days or 42 weeks' gestation.
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Important aspects of the menstrual history must be obtained.