I am super excited to share my recent experience with ordering my own lab work. I have a pretty clear plan for this pregnancy as far as what labs I want and when I want them, and I have been fortunate enough to have a very good friend and naturopath order my early pregnancy labs for me. I have been intrigued by the websites that claim to let you order your own lab work though, and for my most recent round, I decided to give them a try, especially if I want to order something ASAP, and just to feel that sense of autonomy in my own care.
***I’m not getting paid for endorsing directlabs.com, and there are many more similar sites out there that I encourage you to check out as well.
I went through directlabs.com and selected all the tests I wanted to have done. They have a really comprehensive selection that they offer, and the prices really aren’t bad considering you can skip the whole process of going to the doctor for a visit and a follow up. Then you pay for your tests you’ve selected, and print out your requisition a few hours later. You can take your requisition to any Labcorp draw site, which is great where I live, though I’m not sure about proximity to Labcorp facilities in other locations. They “bill your doctor” which you already paid by purchasing the test, so the price that you pay is one-time and all inclusive. As soon as the lab reports your results to the directlabs.com doctor, they are posted for you to see online instantly through your account. It is really pretty amazing. I got my results in about 24 hours, and had access to them myself rather than having to wait for them to be sent to me via third party, or having to go in for a follow up visit with someone.
I am thrilled by this option, and wanted other people to know that it works, it isn’t a scam, and that it is super empowering. Obviously, this is a great option for people who know what they want, know how to interpret their labs, or have someone trusted they can consult with after getting the results. One great resource for learning more about interpretation is Anne Frye’s “Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year”. You can also look at the typical lab testing schedule for pregnancy to get a sense of where to start researching.
I think this is one more tool for women to reclaim their role in the pregnancy and birth process and return to something more like the Wise Woman Model of Care. With this option, I can monitor my own health exactly how I want to (perhaps even more conservatively than it would be under OB care) without having to go through any hoops. No drama. No explaining myself to anyone. If we decide to utilize medical tools it should be on our own terms, at our own discretion, and we shouldn’t have to ask anyone permission.
Tell us about your experiences with labwork during pregnancy. Have you ever ordered your own labs? Have you ever wanted a lab that your care provider wouldn’t order for you? Have you ever been bullied into doing labwork you didn’t want or need?