What Are The Signs Of Pregnancy
The signs of pregnancy vary from woman to woman. Usually the most obvious sign is the absence of menstruation . However, some women continue to have bleeding even while pregnant. The following are the most common first signs of pregnancy. However, each woman may experience the signs of pregnancy differently. These may include:
Nausea or vomiting
Certain food cravings or aversions
Bloating of the belly
Darkening of the skin around the nipples .
These early signs may not positively indicate pregnancy, but may actually signal another process happening within the body. A pregnancy test can provide more accurate results.
What Are The Earliest Signs Of Being Pregnant With Twins
Is there such a thing as being twice as pregnant? As you begin to experience pregnancy symptoms, you may wonder whether having stronger symptoms means something are there signs youre having twins? Is it normal to be this exhausted and this nauseous, or could it mean something more?
While the only definitive way to know whether youre pregnant with twins is an ultrasound, some symptoms may suggest that a little something extra is happening on the inside.
Is There A Blood Test To Detect Pregnancy
Yes. The blood test detects pregnancy in the the pregnant dog by measuring levels of a hormone called relaxin. This hormone is produced by the developing placenta following implantation of the embryo, and can be detected in the blood in most pregnant females as early as 22-27 days post-breeding. The level of relaxin remains elevated throughout pregnancy, and declines rapidly following the end of the pregnancy.
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How Long After Conception Will My Pregnancy Test Be Positive
It can take between 11 and 14 days after conception to get a positive pregnancy test. At-home pregnancy tests check for human chorionic gonadotropin , a hormone released by the placenta. Your pee must have enough hCG to get a positive pregnancy test. However, your healthcare provider can check for hCG in your blood sooner around 10 days after conception.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Conception is when sperm fertilizes an egg. Its one of the many critical steps in getting pregnant. Conceiving a child is a complex process dependent on lots of factors. Being unable to conceive is a common problem, and there are lots of resources available to help you. Contact your healthcare provider if youre struggling with conceiving. They can explain the process and identify any issues preventing conception and pregnancy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/06/2022.
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How Accurate Are Blood Pregnancy Tests
The blood test for hCG is the most accurate to detect a pregnancy, says Dr. Trolice.
Blood tests have a 99% accuracy rate, so they are almost always accurate. The main reason for this is that the quantitative test can detect even the smallest traces of the pregnancy hormone hCG. However, hormone levels can vary from one woman to another.
“The range of normal beta hCG levels is very wide,” says Dr. Serena Chen, a fertility expert at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, “so it’s important to have the help of your doctor to interpret test results.”
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Pros Of Early Pregnancy Tests
These early detection tests may offer advantages in some circumstances. You may want to discuss your testing plans with your doctor first.
Except for having a physician order an early hCG blood test, which is usually done only when there are medical reasons to detect pregnancy as early as possible, early home pregnancy tests are the fastest way for you to find out whether you are pregnant during a particular menstrual cycle.
The most sensitive tests on the market can potentially give you a positive result four to five days before your period is due, meaning you don’t necessarily have to wait for a missed period, or watch for other pregnancy symptoms, to find out whether you are pregnant. However, there is a significant chance of getting a false negative with these tests.
Need to Start or Stop Medications
Very early testing can be helpful if your physician plans for you to start or to discontinue any medications as soon as you discover you are pregnant.
Birth Control Failure
Early pregnancy tests may also be helpful if you were not intending to conceive but had a birth control failure around the middle of your cycle, and you want to know as soon as possible whether you are pregnant so that you can determine your desired course of action.
Pregnancy Lifestyle Changes
How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your pee. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as youve missed your period. However, its best to wait at least one week after youve missed your period to get the most accurate results. While some tests claim to give you accurate results before a missed period, taking a test too soon can result in a false negative .
Your healthcare provider can take a blood sample to test for pregnancy as early as one week before a missed period.
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Rise Of Pregnancy Hormone
Adapted from: Gnoth C. and Johnson S. Strips of Hope: Accuracy of Home Pregnancy Tests and New Developments. GeburtshilfeFrauenheilkd 2014 74:661669.
So if you are thinking of testing before your missed period, why not try .
The day of your expected period is the day your period is due to start. If you still havent got your period the next day, this is the day of your missed period. So, if you see instructions telling you to take the test four days before your expected period, this is the same as five days before your missed period.
What Is A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy is confirmed with a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test can be done on either urine or blood. Pregnancy tests find the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone . This is a hormone made by the placenta about 10 days after fertilization. Levels of the hCG hormone approximately double every two days during the first 60 days of pregnancy. Pregnancy tests that use the woman’s blood are done by a healthcare provider usually to get a very early diagnosis of pregnancy or to confirm an at-home pregnancy test. Blood tests are very accurate and can find pregnancy by the second week after conception.
Women can conduct an at-home pregnancy test by testing a sample of urine about two weeks after conception, or about the time a period is due. Home pregnancy tests have become more accurate in the last decade. If the test is used correctly, most home pregnancy tests are 97% to 99% accurate.
Always talk with your healthcare provider to confirm a positive at-home pregnancy test with a more reliable pregnancy test and physical exam. If your at-home pregnancy test results are negative, and you think you are pregnant, you should also talk with your healthcare provider.
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When Is Internal Fetal Monitoring Needed
On occasion, internal fetal monitoring is needed to provide a more accurate reading of the fetal heart rate. Your bag of waters must be broken and your cervix must be partially dilated to use internal monitoring. Internal fetal monitoring involves inserting an electrode through the dilated cervix and attaching the electrode to the scalp of the fetus.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
Think you might be pregnant?
Even with the most effective birth control methods, theres always a chance for error. After all, it takes just one sperm to fertilize the egg. Finding out whether or not thats happened is as easy as taking an over-the-counter pregnancy test.
OTC pregnancy tests typically test your urine for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin . HCG is only present if youre pregnant. The hormone is only released if a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus or to your uterine lining.
There are different ways to collect your urine for the test. Depending on the test you choose, you may have to:
- collect your urine in a cup and dip a testing stick into the liquid
- collect your urine in a cup and use an eyedropper to move a small amount of fluid into a special container
- place the testing stick into the area of your expected urine stream so that it will catch your urine midstream
According to Cleveland Clinic, most tests are 99 percent effective if taken after a missed period. The best part is that you can do it in the privacy of your own home. Simply open the test, follow the instructions, and wait for the recommended amount of time to view the results.
After the recommended waiting time has passed, the tests will display your results in one of the following ways:
- a change in color
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Where Can I Get A Pregnancy Test
You can buy a pregnancy test at your local pharmacy, drugstore, grocery store, and some convenience or dollar stores. Pregnancy tests are usually inexpensive they can cost as little as a dollar. Sometimes you can get a free pregnancy test at certain health centers.
You can also get a pregnancy test from your nurse or doctor, community clinic, or local Planned Parenthood Health Center. Most health centers use the same urine pregnancy tests that you can buy in stores. Sometimes they use a blood test to test for pregnancy, but thats usually only under special circumstances.
But be careful when looking for a reliable health center, because there are fake clinics out there called Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Crisis Pregnancy Centers give free pregnancy tests and claim to offer information and help. But theyre run by people who may not be medical professionals, and dont believe in giving you honest facts about pregnancy and all of your options. Crisis pregnancy centers are often located very close to Planned Parenthood health centers or other real medical centers, and have similar names they do this to confuse people and trick them into visiting their center instead.
Your nearest Planned Parenthood health center can help you find a safe place to get a pregnancy test in your area.
What Are The Advantages Of Using A Home Pregnancy Test
There are quite a few advantages to using a home pregnancy test, including:
- Pregnancy tests are inexpensive.
- Theyre easy to use.
- Home tests provide results quickly.
According to pregnancy kit manufacturers, most at-home pregnancy tests are 97% to 99% accurate when you use them as instructed. Positive results can be trusted, but you can get a falsely negative result very early in pregnancy.
Blood tests tend to be more expensive and, for many women, the wait for an appointment can be difficult. Home tests allow you to quickly know if youre pregnant shortly after conception.
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Home Pregnancy Test Kits
Home pregnancy test kits are available from pharmacists. These kits offer accurate readings if performed strictly according to the manufacturers instructions. However, many women who use home pregnancy test kits get inaccurate results.The most common mistake is to test for pregnancy too soon after the missed period. The manufacturers instructions will tell you when is the best time to use the kit. It is very important to follow the manufacturers instructions exactly.
How Soon You Can Take A Pregnancy Test
Step back from the supermarket shelves you should wait until the first day of a missed period before you do a pregnancy test . This is usually about two weeks after you think you conceived. So get your diary out and start counting.
Too keen to wait? Some tests are more sensitive than others and can be taken earlier . This might be four or five days before your period is due .
If you can though, its most reliable to wait for the first day of your missed period. And that way you wont get any upset from an inaccurate result.
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Using Blood Tests To Diagnose Ectopic Or Tubal Pregnancy
“An early ectopic pregnancy may yield a false negative if you test too early,” says Dr. Chen. If you have concerns about the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, discuss them with your doctor.
Ectopic pregnancies are fertilized eggs that have implanted in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. This type of pregnancy can present similar symptoms as a normal pregnancy but can be life-threatening for the woman.
A quantitative hCG blood test can help diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. They are more precise than qualitative tests and detect lower levels of hCG in the blood. In an ectopic pregnancy, hCG levels are usually lower than in a normally developing pregnancy and also rises at a slower-than-normal rate.
While an ultrasound exam may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis, the blood test can be done earlier, which is important given the risks of this type of pregnancy.
How To Use A Home Pregnancy Test Kit
Home pregnancy test kits vary in their sensitivity to hCG. Most test kits are best used about one to two weeks after your period was due. Always strictly follow the manufacturers instructions. Generally speaking, most home pregnancy tests follow the same basic principles:
- You collect urine in a small container and dip the test strip into the urine. Alternatively, some kits offer a test strip that you hold under your stream of urine.
- To improve accuracy of results, it is best to test your urine when you first get out of bed. Early morning urine is concentrated and contains higher levels of hCG than at other times of the day.
- Most test strips indicate the presence of hCG by the appearance of a coloured line or dot.
- Results are rapid. Most test kits take only a few minutes to complete.
- Most kits come with a second test strip. This allows you to test again at a later stage.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy Tests
If I get a positive result on a home pregnancy test, does that mean I am pregnant?
A positive result from a home pregnancy test shows the presence of the hormone hCG in your system. When an egg is implanted in a womans uterine lining, hCG hormones begin to develop and multiply. This is a sign that you have become pregnant.
If I get a negative result on a home pregnancy test, does that mean I am not pregnant?
A negative result can mean that you are not pregnant, you took the test too early, or you took the test wrong. Pregnancy tests vary in their sensitivity , and you may not have given your body enough time to produce enough hCG hormones that will show up on the test.
Also, if you let a test sit for too long , the test is invalid. It is best to follow the instructions and wait until you have missed a period before taking the test. Most pregnancy tests come with two in a box, and it is a good idea to take both.
First Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests
First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. This screening process can help determine the risk of the fetus having certain birth defects. Screening tests may be used alone or with other tests.
First trimester screening includes:
Ultrasound for fetal nuchal translucency. Nuchal translucency screening uses an ultrasound to examine the area at the back of the fetal neck for increased fluid or thickening.
Ultrasound for fetal nasal bone determination. The nasal bone may not be visualized in some babies with certain chromosome abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. This screen is performed using an ultrasound between 11 and 13 weeks gestation.
Maternal serum tests. These blood tests measure two substances found in the blood of all pregnant women:
Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A. A protein produced by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels are associated with an increased risk of chromosomal abnormality.
Human chorionic gonadotropin. A hormone produced by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels are associated with an increased risk of chromosomal abnormality.
When used together as first trimester screening tests, nuchal translucency screening and maternal blood tests have a greater ability to determine if the fetus might have a birth defect, such as Down syndrome and trisomy 18.
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How Accurate Are Urine Tests
Urine tests or home pregnancy tests are around 97% accurate when done correctly. Home pregnancy tests are great to use because they can be done at home, they are usually low in cost , private, they give a fast result, and are easy to use.
However, if done incorrectly or taken too early, the result can be inaccurate. If you get a negative result and still have symptoms of pregnancy , wait a week and take another test or contact your doctor so you can have a blood test done.
Going Off The Pill To Get Pregnant
How long does it take for the effects of birth control medication to subside? Its actually possible to become pregnant immediately after going off the pill as soon as the pills hormones are out of your system although it may take a few months before ovulation begins normally again.
Is it safe to conceive right after you go off the pill? Yes. Women who conceive immediately after going off the pill are as likely to have a healthy baby as women who waited a few months in between.