If you’re experiencing common pregnancy symptoms, your period is late, or you just feel “off” and wonder if you might be pregnant, taking a pregnancy test is your first step! If positive, you can pursue other medical screenings like ultrasounds to learn more about your pregnancy.
Here are some things you need to know about when to take a test, how tests work, and what you should do if your test comes back positive.
When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?
In general, it’s best to wait until at least a week after your missed period to take a test. This allows sufficient time for the production of detectable levels of hCG, the pregnancy hormone. If you don’t want to wait until you’ve missed your period, you should wait at least two weeks after having sex before taking a pregnancy test.
It’s best to take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning before your urine can be diluted by drinking a lot of water.
The number one cause of a false test result is taking a pregnancy test too soon. We know it can be hard to wait, but waiting will give you the most accurate result.
How does a pregnancy test work?
A standard pregnancy test works by detecting the presence of the hCG hormone in your urine. Your body only produces this hormone when pregnant, so if a test detects hCG, there’s a good chance you’re pregnant.
A pregnancy test does not reveal any information about viability or where the pregnancy is located. For that vital information, you’ll need an ultrasound.
If I am pregnant, what should I do next?
If your test came back positive and you were not planning on a pregnancy at this time, don’t panic!
After a positive pregnancy test, you’ll want to get an ultrasound. An ultrasound will answer three questions:
- How far along am I?
- Is my pregnancy viable?
- Where is my pregnancy located?
We offer free pregnancy testing to verify at-home tests and also provide free ultrasounds to women in our community facing unplanned pregnancies. We want you to have the information you need to make an empowered decision about your next steps.
Contact us to schedule your appointment today!
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