Risks Of A Pregnancy Blood Test
Pregnancy blood tests are safe and unlikely to cause any major side effects. But the needle might pinch a little bit, and you might have some mild, temporary bruising at the site of the injection.
Its not unusual to feel nauseous, dizzy, clammy or even faint during a blood draw or even beforehand, if having blood taken makes you anxious. Eating or drinking something sugary or salty before your test can help just make sure to check with your provider first.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
What Do The Pregnancy Test Results Mean
Results may show up as a line, a color, or a symbol such as a “+” or “-” sign. Digital tests show the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” It’s important to know what a positive or negative result means.
If you get a positive result, youre pregnant. This is true no matter how faint the line, color, or sign is. If you get a positive result, you may want to call your doctor to talk about what comes next.
In very rare cases, you can have a false-positive result. This means you’re not pregnant but the test says you are. You could have a false-positive result if you have blood or protein in your pee. Certain drugs, such as tranquilizers, anticonvulsants, hypnotics, and fertility drugs, could cause false-positive results.
If you get a negative result, youre probably not pregnant. But you may be pregnant if:
- The test is past its expiration date.
- You took the test the wrong way.
- You tested too soon.
- Your pee is too diluted because you drank a lot of fluids right before the test.
- Youre taking certain medications, such as diuretics or antihistamines.
If you get a negative result, try retesting within about a week to double-check. Some home pregnancy tests suggest doing this no matter what your first results are.
If you take the test twice and get different results, call your doctor. A blood test is a good idea to confirm results.
If you have any other questions about the pregnancy test or the results, call your doctor or the telephone number listed with the test.
When You Should Get A Pregnancy Blood Test
A pregnancy blood test at your doctors office is another way to confirm a pregnancy.
The blood test can detect the pregnancy earlier than an at-home urine test eight days after ovulation is the earliest a blood test could detect a pregnancy, says Dr. Merhi.
Should you receive a positive at-home pregnancy test result, your doctor will often perform an in-office blood test to confirm the presence of HCG. This and additional blood tests also provide additional information about your health and the health of your pregnancy.
Blood tests are also needed to check for complications of pregnancyfor instance, if you are at risk for ectopic pregnancy , miscarriage or an abnormally progressing pregnancy, says Dr. Culwell. because they can measure whether your pregnancy hormone levels are progressing normally or decreasing.
Should you experience a miscarriage, HCG can remain in your body for a few weeks, and additional tests taken in the weeks following can lead to a false-positive result, says Dr. Merhi.
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Where To Get A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests are fairly easy to obtain, especially in North America. Home pregnancy tests are available at your local drugstore or pharmacy and at some large department stores. You can also order home pregnancy tests online. Your local sexual health clinic or doctors office can also provide you with a urine or blood test.
How Does A Pregnancy Test Work
All pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin , which starts to be produced around 6 days after fertilisation.
Most pregnancy tests come in a box that contains 1 or 2 long sticks. You pee on the stick and the result appears on the stick after a few minutes. All tests are slightly different, so always check the instructions.
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# 28 And 29 Weeks Pregnant
Your babys senses continue to develop. Around this time your baby might be able to tell the difference between your voice and your partners voice.
As her hearing continues to develop shell be able to hear higher pitched sounds and sounds from outside the womb.
Your baby is about the size of lovely butternut squash.
He or she weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is about 15 inches long.
Your babys hair is growing well, and his or her head is growing bigger to accommodate a growing brain.
To keep up with the growing nutritional needs of your baby, eat foods with plenty of protein, calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamin C.
What Is A Ultrasound Scan Why Is It Used And Not Used
An ultrasound exam uses high-frequency sound waves to create a picture of the baby and the placenta. While the sonogram refers to the picture and ultrasound refers to the exam, most people use the terms interchangeably.
In the United States, most pregnant women are offered their first ultrasound scan by their doctor or midwife between 9 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The first scan is used to determine how far along you are and how many babies youre carrying!
First trimester ultrasounds help identify the babys heart rate, umbilical cord, the placement and size of the placenta, and confirms how far along your little one is.
The longer you wait for your gender scan, the better chance the technician has of being able to visually determine the babys gender provided your little bean cooperates.
Good ultrasound technicians claim upwards of 95% success rate.
The technician is looking for physical markers that might indicate an abnormality, versus typical development.
Ultrasounds will not detect every birth defect, and a typical ultrasound doesnt guarantee a healthy baby.
The diagnostic benefits of ultrasounds and the visual image parents can see, make ultrasound a valuable pregnancy tool.
If according to these ultrasounds, your baby appears to be developing typically, you will probably not need additional ultrasounds during your pregnancy.
Some women might have a third-trimester ultrasound if they are advanced maternal age , or if they have low amniotic fluid.
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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.
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What Types Of Pregnancy Tests Are Available
Two main types of pregnancy tests are blood tests and urine tests.
You get these at your doctor’s office, but theyre not used as often as urine tests. These tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, about 6 to 8 days after ovulation. It takes longer to get the results than with a home pregnancy test.
The two types of blood pregnancy tests are:
A qualitative hCG test simply checks for hCG. It gives a “yes” or “no” answer to the question, “Are you pregnant?” Doctors often order these tests to confirm pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception. Some can detect hCG much earlier.
A quantitative hCG test measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. It can find even very low levels of hCG. These tests may help track problems during pregnancy. Your doctor may use them along with other tests to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, when the fertilized egg implants outside your uterus, or after a miscarriage, when hCG levels fall quickly.
You can take these at home or in a doctor’s office.
Along with being private and convenient, home pregnancy tests are quick and easy to use. Theyre also very accurate if you follow the directions. These pregnancy tests all work in a similar way. You test your pee in one of these ways:
- Hold the test stick in your urine stream
- Collect pee in a cup and dip the test stick into it
- Collect pee in a cup and use a dropper to put it into another container
Development Scan / Gender Scan
The second ultrasound is usually between 18 to 20 weeks and helps your doctor determine if your baby is developing typically. This ultrasound will probably be your most thorough checkup.
Your doctor or midwife will check your babys organs such as the heart, brain, spine, abdomen, kidneys, and liver.
They will also check your babys head, face, limbs and count your babys toes and fingers. Using the ultrasound, your doctor or midwife can measure the amniotic fluid and check the placenta.
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Testing When You Feel Pregnant
You may decide to take a pregnancy test because youre having early pregnancy symptoms, including:
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Slight morning nausea
Depending on whether a positive pregnancy test would be good or bad news, symptoms like these may fill you with dread or excitement. But heres the good news: pregnancy symptoms dont mean youre pregnant. In fact, you can feel pregnant and not be pregnant, or not feel pregnant and be expecting.
The same hormones that cause pregnancy symptoms are present every month between ovulation and your period.
Many symptoms similar to pregnancy symptoms can be caused by other things, like a cold, the flu, or even a few nights of poor sleep.
When Do You Start Showing With Your First Baby
You might even begin to see the Linea Nigra or called the pregnancy line. This showed up for me in month 2.
Your tummy is expanding, and you might feel more comfortable in clothes with elastic waists, or maternity clothing.
Since were talking about bigger boobs, lets talk sex for just a minute. Its safe, and perfectly acceptable to want sex right now. Having sex will not harm the baby, and will not cause a miscarriage.
If youre just not feeling it right now dont worry. Many women start to feel sexy once the first trimester is over.
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Buying Guide For Best Pregnancy Tests
Wondering if you are pregnant can be one of the most stressful periods of your life. To find out the answer to your question quickly, you can get a pregnancy test to use in the privacy of your own home.
Pregnancy tests have come a long way over the years. On the higher end, you can get mess-free kits that feature an easy-to-read display and are as accurate as having a blood test at the doctors office. Lower-cost pregnancy tests are just as accurate, but they may be a little harder to read or have other drawbacks.
If you would like to learn more about pregnancy tests how to know when it is time to purchase one, how to get the most accurate results keep reading. If you just want the answer as fast as possible and are looking to purchase a highly rated test, consider the tests we spotlight in this article.
How Accurate Are Home Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests are very accurate and most claim between 97 per cent and 99 per cent accuracy, but as with any kit there are things that can affect the test result.
Here are some tips for how to improve their accuracy:
- Check the expiry date and make sure you follow the instructions properly.
- The amount of hCG or pregnancy hormone in your urine increases with time and is often different at certain times of day. The earlier after a missed period you take the test, the harder it is to spot the hCG. Also, testing your urine first thing in the morning may boost the accuracy.
- The amount of hCG in urine is different for every woman. Some women will have accurate results on the day of the missed period while others will need to wait longer.
- Some tests are more sensitive than others, and will affect how early you can use them to detect pregnancy.
If in doubt, the best thing to do is to consult your GP or a health care professional who will be able to take a pregnancy test for you.
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How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test
You should wait to take a pregnancy test until the week after your missed period for the most accurate result.
If you dont want to wait until youve missed your period, you should wait at least one to two weeks after you had sex. If you are pregnant, your body needs time to develop detectable levels of HCG. This typically takes seven to 12 days after successful implantation of an egg.
You may receive an inaccurate result if the test is taken too early in your cycle.
Here are some signs that you should take a pregnancy test.
One of the first and most reliable signs of pregnancy is a missed period.
If you dont track your cycle closely, it might be hard to determine whether or not youre late. Many women have a 28-day menstrual cycle. Consider taking a test if its been more than a month since your last period.
Also pay attention to your flow if you suspect pregnancy. Its common to experience light bleeding or spotting in the early weeks as the egg buries deeper into the uterine lining during implantation. Take note of any difference in the color, texture, or amount of blood.
Contact your doctor if you have bleeding and a positive pregnancy test.
Implantation can also produce a feeling similar to menstrual cramps. In early pregnancy, you may feel this discomfort and think your period is just around the corner, but then it never comes.
Dont Take An Expired Test
Yes, you read that rightâpregnancy tests can expire. If you take an expired test, the chemical used in the test may no longer accurately detect the presence of elevated hCG in your body. An expired test can present inaccurate results, so itâs worth buying a new test to confirm your pregnancy if you have an expired test.
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What Do I Do If My Test Is Invalid
If no lines appear anywhere on the test strip or if only the test line appears, the test has not worked properly and is invalid. This is usually due to the strip not being wet enough. Repeat the test with a new test strip ensuring that the strip is immersed in the urine sample for the full 10 seconds
Negative Test But Feel Pregnant
Speak to your healthcare provider if youve taken a pregnancy test that has come up negative, but you are experiencing symptoms of early pregnancy such as:
- Breast tenderness
High chance of a false negative result if pregnant
Expense of repeated tests, if necessary
Not accurate with hCG trigger shots
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How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
You can take a pregnancy test anytime after your period is late thats when they work the best. Its a good idea to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible if you miss your period or think you might be pregnant.
The earlier you know youre pregnant, the sooner you can start thinking about your options and get whatever care you need to stay healthy.
Many pregnancy tests say they work a few days before a missed period, but the results are usually less accurate then. Read the label on your pregnancy test to find out when to take a pregnancy test and how accurate itll be.
Sometimes a pregnancy test is able to find pregnancy hormones in your urine as early as 10 days after unprotected sex. But these results arent super reliable, and you may get a false positive or false negative test result.
If your periods are very irregular, or you dont get periods at all for one reason or another, your best bet for accurate results is to take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after sex.
Pregnancy Testing At The Doctors Office
When should I visit the doctor for a pregnancy test?
More often, you may take a home pregnancy test to quickly determine pregnancy. If a home pregnancy test is positive and you have decided to continue with the pregnancy, you should call an obstetrician as soon as possible. The doctor can use a more sensitive test such as blood testing along with a pelvic exam to make sure you are pregnant. Seeing the doctor early in your pregnancy will help you and your baby to stay healthy.
If a home pregnancy test is positive and you have decided not to continue with the pregnancy, you should call a clinic as soon as possible. The doctor will do another urine pregnancy testing for their records and a sonogram to determine how far your pregnancy has progressed and discuss termination options that best suit your circumstances. Click here for help in choosing a clinic.
How do urine pregnancy tests work at the doctors office?
All pregnancy tests, whether it is EPT, First Response, ClearBlue or at your local doctors office, work by detecting a particular hormone in the urine that is only there when a woman is pregnant. This hormone is called human chorionic gonadotropin , or hCG, also called the pregnancy hormone.
The question often arises what is the difference between a home pregnancy test done at home and a urine pregnancy test performed at a doctors office? The difference is not in the test itself but in the ability of the person who reads the test confidently.
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