When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?

If you’ve had sex recently but aren’t sure if you’re pregnant, you’ll want to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible, but timing is key.

If you take a test too early, it could give you a false result because the most common type of pregnancy test has a reactive strip meant to detect hCG, a hormone that indicates pregnancy.

The recommended time frame is about one week after your first missed period.

What Will I Feel Like If I’m Pregnant?

How each woman feels during pregnancy is unpredictable because everyone experiences varying degrees of different symptoms.

Some of the common signs of early pregnancy are similar to premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, moodiness, sore breasts, or exhaustion. These symptoms are attributed to fluctuating hormone levels.

Taking a pregnancy test can help you determine if you’re experiencing signs signaling your period or if it’s related to early pregnancy.

Other symptoms may include frequent urination, sudden aversions to specific foods, light spotting, cramping, or constipation.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

About six to twelve days after getting pregnant, the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall and forms the placenta. As the placenta develops, it releases a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which helps support the pregnancy.

This hormone is in your blood and urine; its levels double every 2-3 days.

Pregnancy tests confirm whether or not there’s hCG in your body.

How Accurate are Pregnancy Tests?

If you’re experiencing symptoms that make you suspect you might be pregnant, you have a couple of options. You can opt for a urine-based pregnancy test which can be performed for free at our Center or purchased at any local drugstore for home testing. Alternatively, you can go for a blood test which would require a visit to a medical clinic.

It’s worth noting that up to 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Although pregnancy testing can confirm the presence of hCG, detectable hCG levels may remain following a recent miscarriage.

So, pregnancy testing is accurate at confirming the presence of hCG, but only an ultrasound can verify the pregnancy’s viability.

Confirming Your Pregnancy

Waiting to find out if you’re pregnant or even processing the news of a positive pregnancy test is challenging. At Zoe, a Women’s Center, we are here to help you access any needed assistance and resources.

We offer free services that include confidential (according to Maine state law) consultations, medical-grade pregnancy testing, and limited-obstetric ultrasounds. We can also help you determine the best time to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate results.

Schedule an appointment today!

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