While pregnancy testing may not seem particularly complicated, you might be surprised to learn people sometimes make common mistakes or overlook important steps. If not done right, you might get an inaccurate result, causing you to think you’re pregnant when you’re not, or even worse, not know you’re pregnant when you really are.
No worries, these helpful tips will ensure your pregnancy testing is done right, so you get accurate results.
Pregnancy Testing Dos
1. DO Test as Soon as You Think You Might be Pregnant…Within Reason
Good home pregnancy tests can typically detect a pregnancy within seven days after a missed period. By then, your body has likely produced enough human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) to be detectable through a urine test.
2. DO Check Your Home Pregnancy Test’s Expiration Date
Home pregnancy tests can expire, making their results less reliable. Check the package for the imprinted expiration date. If the date has passed, throw it away and buy a new one.
3. DO Read Your Home Pregnancy Tests’s Instructions Completely
Not all home pregnancy tests are exactly the same, so even if you’ve taken one before, this one might be different. Read the instructions completely to ensure you’re taking the test appropriately and reading the results correctly.
4. DO Follow Up with a Medical Pregnancy Test
No matter what your home pregnancy test says – positive or negative, the only way to know for certain whether or not you’re pregnant is with a medical pregnancy test. Medical pregnancy tests, which are administered by a healthcare professional, provide much more reliable results.
5. DO Get a Pregnancy Confirmation Ultrasound
If your medical pregnancy test comes back positive, you’ll want to get a pregnancy confirmation ultrasound. This ultrasound exam is performed by a healthcare professional to determine if the baby has a heartbeat and whether the pregnancy is viable.
Pregnancy Testing Don’ts
1. DON’T Drink Alcohol, Smoke or Take Illegal Drugs if You Think You Might be Pregnant
Even if you haven’t taken a pregnancy test yet, if there’s any possibility that you may be pregnant, you should stay away from alcohol, smoking and any sort of illegal drugs, as these could all have serious long-term consequences for your baby if you are indeed pregnant.
2. DON’T Ignore Common Pregnancy Symptoms
Often, when something seems a bit scary, people are inclined to ignore the warning signs. That’s frequently true of pregnancy. If you’re experiencing sore breasts, nausea, excessive urination, menstrual spotting or any other common signs of pregnancy, don’t overlook it. It’s always wiser to take a pregnancy test than not.
3. DON’T Drink Too Much Water Prior to Taking a Pregnancy Test
Drinking too much water prior to taking a pregnancy test can dilute your urine, making it less likely the test will detect the necessary amount of human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), which can then produce a false negative. Often, your first urine of the morning is the most concentrated, and thus provides the most accurate result.
4. DON’T Take a Negative Home Pregnancy Test Result at Face Value
If your home pregnancy test result comes back negative, but you really feel like you might be pregnant, test again. Another negative test result, but you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms or you just have a lingering feeling that you might be pregnant? Go get a medical pregnancy test to know for sure.
5. DON’T Panic
If your pregnancy test comes back positive, but you weren’t planning to get pregnant, don’t panic. It’s natural and understandable for this situation to cause anxiety, but you have options. First, get the pregnancy test result confirmed by a healthcare professional. Then, talk to a pregnancy options counselor to learn about the options and assistance available to you.
In Gainesville, Sira offers free medical pregnancy testing, pregnancy confirmation ultrasounds and pregnancy options counseling to all women, with no insurance required. All services are provided confidentially and 100% free of charge.
To schedule your appointment, contact Sira today at 352-377-4947.