I was recently on a few pregnancy sites and was surprised at the number of times someone was confused as to whether or not they were pregnant. Finding out whether one is pregnant can provoke equal anxiety for both those who are attempting to get pregnant and for those who don’t want an unplanned pregnancy. Here are some facts:
• The most common sign of pregnancy is a missed period for women who are sexually active and have had normal periods in the past. While abnormal bleeding, back pain and breast tenderness are symptoms, they are not the most common symptoms. If you can set your clock by your monthly period and then it “disappears” for more than 2 weeks, you need a pregnancy test.
• How soon after a missed period can a pregnancy be detected?
o With a urine pregnancy test – 5 to 7 days after the last menstrual period (LMP)
o With a blood pregnancy test – 1 to 2 days after the LMP
• Why the difference in the urine and blood test?
o The urine pregnancy test requires more pregnancy hormone (aka BHCG or beta HCG) than the blood test. The urine pregnancy tests requires 20 to 50 IU/L of beta HCG while a blood only requires 1 to 5 IU/L. Big difference isn’t it? However most clinics or healthcare providers’ offices will do a urine test first because it is less expensive than a blood test.
• Your home pregnancy test is positive. Now what should you do?
o Repeat the test at your clinic or healthcare provider’s office to make certain that your home test was not a false positive.
• Will an ultrasound confirm your pregnancy?
o Usually not until 6 weeks after your missed period or if your beta HCG level is above 1500 IU/L. If your beta HCG level is greater than 1500 IU/L, an ectopic pregnancy should be suspected and appropriately managed by your healthcare provider.
Have questions? Feel free to contact me at www.smartmothersguide.com Remember, a healthy pregnancy doesn’t just happen. It takes a smart mom who knows what to do.