There are two types of tests that can be used to determine if you are pregnant: a blood test and a urine test. The easier of the two is a urine pregnancy test which you can conveniently purchase at many stores. Your healthcare provider administers a blood test.
Why are there two tests? A blood test detects pregnancy earlier than at-home pregnancy tests. Often, a blood test can detect pregnancy 6 to 8 days after ovulation. However, it takes a little longer to get the results. A urine pregnancy test gives you immediate results, but it’s limited in how early it can detect pregnancy
How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?
Both tests look for a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone only occurs in a woman’s body during pregnancy. It begins about six days after fertilization, when a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hCG could cause nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) in women during their first trimester. Nauseousness and a late period are two of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy.
Both tests can provide accurate results.
Why Would I Need a Blood Test?
A blood test checks for two different things. First, a blood test checks for hCG to confirm your pregnancy. Second, it measures the amount of hCG in your blood. If the levels are low or begin to drop quickly, you may have complications with your pregnancy.
When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?
Pregnancy test results are more accurate if you wait until the first day of your missed period. The longer you wait, the more accurate the results will be.
For a urine test, take the test first thing in the morning when your urine is more concentrated.
Is a Pregnancy Test All I Need?
A healthcare provider often schedules an ultrasound following a positive pregnancy test. Although rare, it is possible to get a positive result when you have miscarried. This phenomenon is called a “chemical pregnancy.” You will receive a positive pregnancy test at first, but a negative test result when you test a couple weeks later.
A limited obstetrical ultrasound reveals how far along you are in your pregnancy (the gestational age), whether the pregnancy is growing with a detectable heartbeat, and its location.
Where Can I Get Free Pregnancy Testing and an Ultrasound?
We want you to have as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision about your unplanned pregnancy.
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