I Might Be Pregnant
You are not alone feeling unsure if you are pregnant. Many women report that they either missed a period or that they are feeling sick or report other symptoms that they feel could mean they are pregnant. Luckily there are many reliable over-the-counter pregnancy tests providing early detection results.
Home Pregnancy Tests
Taking a home pregnancy test can be nerve-racking, especially if you are unsure you want to be pregnant.
Home pregnancy tests have been around for many years. They have become quite sensitive so they can almost always detect a pregnancy correctly even as early as the first day of a missed period or even before. Women will still worry about whether the results can be trusted. It is more commonly recommended to wait at least one week after a missed period to take a home pregnancy test.
Home pregnancy tests are available without a prescription at most grocery stores and drugstores. There are so many choices and brands. Some are very expensive and some have more than one test included in the package. They all involve some kind of dipstick that touches urine in order to calculate the results. Some tests will highlight a plus or a minus indicating pregnant and not pregnant, some have lines, others even words. Reading the package’s instructions is of course very important. If pregnant, the urine will have a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG.) Shortly after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining, the body begins to produce HCG. The level of HCG increases rapidly in early pregnancy.
Fertility drugs or other medications that contain HCG may interfere with home pregnancy test results. Most medications including antibiotics and birth control pills rarely affect the accuracy of home pregnancy tests.
Although rare, it is possible to get a false-positive. A false-positive may happen if someone was recently pregnant, has an ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy or is experiencing menopause.
It is possible however to get a negative result from a home pregnancy test when there is actually a pregnancy. This is known as a false-negative. A false-negative reading can occur if the test was taken too early, when the package instructions were not followed, or when diluted urine was used.
If a home pregnancy test is positive it is important to make an appointment with a health care provider.
Missed Period(s) But Pregnancy Test is Negative
If you continue to get negative test results with a home pregnancy test and your periods don’t begin, it is important to call a health care professional. Many factors can lead to missed periods, including illness, stress, excessive exercise and hormonal imbalances. If you’re not pregnant, your health care provider can help you get your menstrual cycle back on track.