When Can You Detect Pregnancy?

If you’re worried that you could be pregnant, you might be tempted to go buy a pregnancy test and use it right away. Unfortunately, unless you’ve waited until you’ve missed the anticipated date of your period, you may very well get a false negative test.

The reason for this is that both pregnancy tests, the blood test and urine sample, rely on detecting the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone. This hormone increases rapidly after the embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus and is responsible for most pregnancy symptoms.

Most manufacturers claim a 99 percent accuracy for their tests when performed as recommended. HCG levels only become detectable seven to 12 days after implantation and is the reason women are cautioned not to take the test early.

Wait Before Taking a Test

The Cleveland Clinic advises women to wait five to 10 days after a missed period before administering a test so you don’t experience a false negative positive result. They advise using first-morning urine because HCG is most concentrated then, don’t drink a lot of fluid before the test to increase the volume because it thins the hormone concentration, and be sure to follow each step in the test precisely.

Early pregnancy symptoms that could signal a need for taking a pregnancy test include a missed period, feeling exhausted, urinating often, sensitive or swollen breasts, nausea or vomiting. Having these symptoms can help rule out a false positive on a test; false positives can result due to a chemical pregnancy, where the pregnancy ends shortly after the egg attaches to the uterine lining, menopause, ectopic pregnancy, and ovarian conditions such as cysts.

Confirming a Viable Pregnancy

After a pregnancy test, it is important to receive an ultrasound to confirm if the pregnancy is viable. A non-viable pregnancy, if undetected, could lead to some women making decisions that are not in their best interest.

This is why Willow Womens Center not only offers free, medical-grade pregnancy tests, we also offer free ultrasounds to confirm viability, and free STD/STI testing if warranted. Contact us for an appointment.

An ultrasound has many benefits, from determining viability to telling you how far along you are, finding the heartbeat, and determining the location where the embryo is implanted. This is important in case of an ectopic pregnancy where implantation occurs in the fallopian tube and can be life threatening.

Also, 20 percent of all pregnancies do not carry to term and 80 percent of all miscarriages take place during the first trimester, or 12 weeks. An ultrasound can help detect if you are at risk for a miscarriage or if there is an issue, such as an ectopic pregnancy, where you need immediate medical attention.

Willow Womens Center is holistic and focused solely on you and your well-being. We will support you and help you consider all your options, but only YOU can make the decision that is best for you. Call us today for an appointment.

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