Missed period? Think you might be pregnant? You need to know a few things about pregnancy and pregnancy testing.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
A pregnancy test is designed to detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine, a hormone produced by the placenta to promote the growth of a pregnancy. The body only produces hCG when pregnant.
The presence of hCG in the urine can usually be detected by most pregnancy tests 10 or more days after conception. However, pregnancy tests are most effective after you have missed a period. Taking a pregnancy test after your missed period reduces the risk of a false negative.
When to Take a Pregnancy Test
The timing of ovulation can influence the accuracy of a pregnancy test. If you do not have a consistent cycle, it can be more difficult to know when to take a pregnancy test. If you are not sure when your cycle is supposed to start next, it is usually recommended to take a pregnancy test 14 days after conception.
What Can Affect the Accuracy of a Pregnancy Test?
There are a few things that can affect the accuracy of a pregnancy test and render a false positive or false negative pregnancy test result.
If you have never taken a pregnancy test before, make sure you read the instructions carefully to avoid user error and getting a false test result. With drugstore pregnancy tests, you will want to place the tip of the test underneath a urine stream, in a cup or container with your urine in it, or put several drops of the urine on the test. It usually only takes a few minutes for the results on the test to show “yes,” two lines, or “pregnant” if there is a positive pregnancy result. The test will show “no,” “not pregnant,” or one line if it is a negative pregnant result and you are not pregnant.
RECENT MISCARRIAGE OR ABORTION
If you have recently experienced a miscarriage, the hormone hcG could still be present in your body and therefore create a false positive pregnancy test result. There is a wide range of normal when it comes to how long hCG stays in your body after a miscarriage. It could be days or months. It is essential to take this into account when taking a pregnancy test.
If you recently had an abortion, you could have the presence of hCG in your body and urine for days or months following the procedure. An ultrasound can verify a pregnancy if you have recently experienced a miscarriage or had an abortion and are unsure whether you are pregnant or not.
Certain medications can create a false positive pregnancy test, including fertility drugs that contain hCG. Other medications that can cause a false positive include, but are not limited to:
- anti-anxiety medications, like diazepam (Valium) or alprazolam (Xanax)
- anticonvulsants, like phenobarbital or other barbiturates
- antihistamines, including promethazine
- antipsychotics, such as clozapine or chlorpromazine
- diuretics, like furosemide (Lasix, Diuscreen)
- methadone (Dolophine)
- Parkinson’s disease medications, including bromocriptine (Parlodel)
Pregnancy Tests at Life Choices
Life Choices offers free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to help you confirm the presence of a viable uterine pregnancy. Life Choices does not offer diagnostic ultrasound or gender determination ultrasound. Life Choices does not refer to or provide abortion services or the abortion pill. Alternatively, Life Choices provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasound, and additional support services.
Schedule an Appointment Today
To schedule your ultrasound or free pregnancy test, make an appointment at Life Choices today! Life Choices offers walk-ins and scheduled appointments.