If you recently took a home pregnancy test, you probably read on the packaging or in the instructions that it works by checking for the presence of human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. So, what is hCG?
HCG is a hormone produced by a woman’s body starting with the implantation of the placenta into the uterine wall and peaking around the 14th week of pregnancy. This critical hormone helps to ensure the developing child receives necessary nutrients and calories early in pregnancy by making fat stored in the mother’s body available to the baby.
A reputable home pregnancy test can usually detect hCG 12-14 days after conception. A blood test can often detect hCG a day or two earlier.
Of course, it’s a good idea to follow up any home pregnancy test result with a medical pregnancy test. A pregnancy test administered by a medical professional is more likely to be accurate, especially with any positive result confirmed with an obstetrical ultrasound. By eliminating uncertainty, you’ll be able to immediately start making smart decisions for you and for your baby’s future.
If your pregnancy was planned, you probably already thought through who to tell and when, how to get necessary prenatal care, making healthy lifestyle choices and more. If your pregnancy was unplanned, however, you may have a lot of thinking still to do.
At Sira, our peer counselors help women just like you to think through their pregnancy options, develop a plan that works for them and their babies and connect with community resources. They will answer your questions and offer compassionate guidance in order to give you, “help for today, hope for tomorrow.”