Are Home Pregnancy Tests The Best Way To Check For An Early Pregnancy
Home pregnancy tests are generally very reliable. These tests involve urinating on a small test strip and then waiting for a symbol to appear in the result window. This window will usually show a test image . This symbol appears first and means that the test is working. Always check the packaging and instructions of your test to make sure it is working correctly. Within a few minutes, the test will show either a positive result or a negative result. Some digital tests will display a word or phrase .
Blood tests for a possible pregnancy are done in your healthcare providers office. This version of the test looks for hCG in your blood. You still need to wait for hCG to build up in your body before taking this type of pregnancy test. Your healthcare provider may recommend this option in some cases. Call your provider if you suspect youre pregnant and discuss the best type of test.
In the early days and weeks of pregnancy, you may not know if youre pregnant.
But you can do the following things:
- take a folic acid supplement of 400 micrograms a day while youre trying to get pregnant and until the 12th week of pregnancy
- take a vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms a day
- avoid some foods to protect against infections
- stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your babys health
You can get supplements from pharmacies and supermarkets, or your GP may be able to prescribe them for you.
Disclaimer About The Calculator
Our calculator strives for the highest accuracy, but your pregnancy progress may differ from the calculator’s results for several reasons including possible miscalculation errors in input data individual variations in the timing of ovulation, and/or conception.
The information provided regarding pregnancy progress and fetal development is a guide through the weeks. It is not specific information for a specific individual but serves as a general guide only. As each pregnancy differs, any dates, weights, and lengths should be considered general information for interest only.
Our week-by-week guides use both standard and metric units of measure including pounds and kilograms.
Smell Sensitivity And Food Aversions During Early Pregnancy
Smell sensitivity is a symptom of early pregnancy thats mostly self-reported. Theres little scientific evidence about smell sensitivity during the first trimester. However, it might be important, since smell sensitivity may trigger nausea and vomiting. It may also cause strong distaste for certain foods.
You may experience either a heightened or lessened sense of smell during pregnancy, according to 2017 research. This is especially common during the first and third trimesters. Heightened smell is more common than lessened smell. Some smells that never bothered you before may become less pleasing or even trigger nausea.
The good news is that your sense of smell usually returns to normal after delivery, or within 6 to 12 weeks postpartum.
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How Soon Can I Take A Home Pregnancy Test
It is recommended that you wait until you have missed a period to take a home test. A missed period is often one of the first signs of pregnancy. If you cannot wait that long to find out and you know the day you may have conceived, then the earliest you can take a test would be 14 days from possible conception.
Take Care Of Your Body
Its also important so you can make good choices for your body to support your pregnancy and give your baby a healthy start in life. If you discover you are pregnant, you should follow the guidelines below.
Start prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins include an extra amount of folic acid, which is important for the development of your babys brain and nervous system. Ask your doctor what type of prenatal vitamins they recommend.
Avoid alcohol and certain medications
Avoid alcohol and certain medications if you are pregnant. Alcohol significantly affects fetal brain development. Some medications can also cause birth defects. Read more about medications in pregnancy.
Avoid smoking and drugs
Avoid recreational drugs, smoking, vaping, and marijuana when pregnant. These can also cause developmental issues and birth defects in babies. Smoking harms lung development and restricts blood flow to the placenta.
Eat right and exercise
When you let your provider know youre pregnant, you will get helpful information about a healthy diet and exercise during pregnancy. Youll receive a list of foods, activities, and environmental exposures to avoid. Youll receive information about avoiding work-related exposures, too . Your provider will see if you are up-to-date on vaccinations or if there are any other recommended vaccinations you should receive.
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Why Pregnancy Is Counted From The Last Menstrual Period
Pregnancy is counted from a women’s last menstrual period because the start of a period is easily observable and usually known to a woman whereas the date of conception is much less likely to be known.
Historically, the first day of the last menstrual period became the date from which pregnancy is counted even though conception occurs about two weeks later.
The LMP formula is good for working out an initial age of pregnancy but ultrasound is more accurate. The age of pregnancy may be revised following your ultrasound scan.
Pregnancy Testing For An Early And Accurate Result
A pregnancy test measures levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in your blood or urine. hCG starts to be produced after implantation in the walls of the uterus.
Implantation can occur as early as 7 days after conception.
The placenta begins to develop and produces increasing amounts of hCG.
There are no dierences between ethnicities with regard to urinary hCG increase. However, levels of serum hCG in early pregnancy following assisted reproductive technology have been seen to be slightly lower in women with a higher pre-pregnancy body mass index.
If you need early detection of pregnancy, a blood pregnancy test done at the doctors oice can detect low levels of hCG and measure the actual quantity of hCG in the body.
A blood pregnancy test can be accurate six to eight days after ovulation. A urine test is usually accurate about 14-21 days after ovulation.
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.
Morning Sickness Or Nausea
That telltale, queasy feeling known as morning sickness can hit you at any time of day and it typically begins when you’re about 6 weeks pregnant, though it can vary and strike even earlier. For most women, nausea starts by week 9.
Hormones, mainly increased levels of progesterone , can cause the stomach to empty more slowly, resulting in this early pregnancy symptom resembling seasickness.
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How Early Can I Know My Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Each woman’s early pregnancy symptoms are usually unique. You may notice the first signs of pregnancy within a week or two of conception, whereas others may not notice anything for months.
It depends on your ability to detect changes in the body and how sensitive you are to those.
A blood test, which can detect pregnancy as early as one week after conception, is always an option.
During studies, women trying to conceive kept daily records of their symptoms from the time they stopped using birth control until they were eight weeks pregnant. This was based on the first day of their last menstrual period. The outcomes were:
- By the time they were five weeks pregnant, half of them had some pregnancy symptoms
- A missed period is usually the first sign of pregnancy
- Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, frequent urination, and breast tenderness and swelling are the most common symptoms these symptoms can range from mild to severe
Some pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, can appear as early as a few days after conception, even before a positive pregnancy test.
Spotting or cramping
- Implementation spotting and cramping may occur 6 to 12 days after sexual intercourse according to the American Pregnancy Association.
- It is the process by which the embryo implants on the uterine wall.
- Implementation bleeding can appear to be a lighter or shorter period. This symptom, however, is not common in all women.
Morning sickness and tiredness
Raised basal temperature
Reasons For Missed Periods
There are many reasons why you may have missed your period. Some women miss periods regularly because they dont ovulate regularly. You might also miss a period if you have a change in your sleep patterns, for example, or if you start working night shifts which can throw your cycles out of whack as your body learns to adjust to it.
You can also miss your period if your weight is too low. After a certain amount of body fat, you may not have the hormone production to sustain your periods. This is often true if youre a very competitive athlete or suffer from disordered eating like anorexia or even bulimia.
Sometimes stress can be a reason that your period is missing. This can usually be determined easily by a discussion with your doctor.
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Pregnancy Tests Urine And Blood
There are two types of pregnancy tests one uses a urine sample, the other a sample of blood. Both pregnancy tests detect the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone is produced by the placenta shortly after the embryo attaches to the uterine lining and builds up rapidly in your body in the first few days of pregnancy. It is this rapid shift in hormones that trigger most of your pregnancy symptoms.
What Is A Late Period
If your period is late or youre wondering if youre pregnant, the days can tick by rather slowly. How long do you have to wait before taking a pregnancy test? The instructions on home pregnancy tests often talk about your missed period. What do they mean?
In the world of pregnancy testing, a missed period means you expected your menstrual bleeding to have started yesterday, and it still has not started. The day of your expected period depends on what your normal menstrual cycle looks like and when your last period started.
The menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your period to the day before your next period starts. The average cycle is 28 days, with a pattern that looks something like this:
Some womens menstrual cycles last the same number of days every month. These women can accurately predict the day their period will start. Other women have a menstrual cycle that is a little different each month. Your period is still considered regular as long as it comes every 24 to 38 days.
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Checking In With Your Doctor Regularly
It is important to check in with your doctor regularly during pregnancy to ensure that things are progressing as they should. You will likely see your doctor for regular prenatal appointments throughout the duration of pregnancy so that various aspects of the pregnancy can be monitored and any potential issues can be addressed immediately. Your doctor may use these visits to assess your symptoms, check your blood pressure, conduct an ultrasound, and more. Additionally, a variety of tests may be done including urine and blood tests to measure your hormone levels and screen for certain diseases or conditions. Keeping in contact with your medical provider will allow them to properly monitor the health of both you and the baby while keeping you informed on whats happening during each stage of pregnancy.
How Do I Know If Im At Risk Of An Ectopic Pregnancy
There are several risk factors that could increase your chance of developing an ectopic pregnancy. A risk factor is a trait or behavior that increases your chance for developing a disease or condition. You may be at a higher risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy if youve had:
- A previous ectopic pregnancy.
- A history of pelvic inflammatory disease , an infection that can cause scar tissue to form in your fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries and cervix.
- Surgery on your fallopian tubes or on the other organs of your pelvic area.
- A history of infertility.
- An intrauterine device , a form of birth control, in place at the time of conception.
- A history of smoking.
Your risk can also increase as you get older. Women over age 35 are more at risk than younger women.
Many women who experience an ectopic pregnancy dont have any of the above risk factors.
How Does Your Lower Stomach Feel In Early Pregnancy
Lower abdominal pain is normal during pregnancy and is most common between 18 and 24 weeks. Your growing uterus is pulling and straining the muscles that support it. You may feel sharp pains or just a mild pulling sensation. It often occurs when you cough, sneeze, stand up, sit down, roll over, or during sex.
Can My Pregnancy Continue After An Ectopic Pregnancy
Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy is fatal for the fetus. It cannot survive outside of the uterus. Quick treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is important to protect the mothers life. If the egg has implanted in the fallopian tube and the tube bursts, there can be severe internal bleeding. This can lead to maternal death.
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When To See Your Doctor
Although home tests can detect a pregnancy, it gives no information as to viability. Its important to make an appointment with your doctor to confirm your pregnancy and to detect a fetal heart rate through an ultrasound . If you have a positive pregnancy test, your obstetrician can provide information about warning signs of an abnormal or worrisome pregnancy and can advise you on when to make an appointment to confirm your pregnancy.
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.
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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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What Do I Need To Know About Using A Pregnancy Due Date Calculator
A due date calculator may not be completely accurate. This is especially true if you arent exactly sure when you had your last period, you have irregular periods or you dont know when you conceived. You should see your provider for a more precise test, such as an ultrasound, to confirm your due date.
Brand Name Versus Generic Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests, both brand name and generic, are very accurate at detecting the HCG hormone and any positive result, even a faint line, can be considered positive. HCG is only produced by a pregnancy any positive result indicates a pregnancy.
You dont need a serum pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy. Both urine and blood detect HCG, although the blood test is more sensitive and can detect HCG levels at much lower levels than a urine test. In certain situations, your doctor may want to perform a blood HCG test but its not typically needed to confirm a pregnancy.
Although most tests advertise 99% accuracy, the ability of a particular brand to detect HCG at levels less than 50 ml may vary. Some brands may be better able to detect lower levels of HCG than others. If your HCG level is more than 50 ml, which is the detection rate of most tests, even generic tests will detect a pregnancy accurately.
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Ovulation: About 2 Weeks Before Your Period
This is your window to become pregnant. About two weeks after your last period is when you ovulate. That means your ovary has released an egg and its hanging around in your fallopian tube waiting for sperm. Youll ovulate for about 12 to 24 hours. If the egg isnt fertilized, itll be reabsorbed by your body.
Changes To Your Body That May Indicate Pregnancy
You may first realise that youre pregnant when you miss your period. Thats a good time to take a pregnancy test or speak with your doctor.
In early pregnancy, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- aches and pains
- morning sickness, which may be nausea or actual vomiting, and does not just happen in the morning
- fatigue, or lack of energy
- nasal problems, or shortness of breath
- larger, tender breasts.
Better Health Channel has more information about these pregnancy symptoms.
If any of the symptoms become difficult to manage, talk to your doctor about what to do. In particular, if any morning sickness, aches and pains, dizziness or breathing difficulties make it hard to get through your normal day, ask for advice.
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