Being unsure if you’re pregnant can be incredibly anxiety-provoking and stressful, to say the least. Your symptoms may be vague, if you have any at all, and maybe you’ve taken a urine pregnancy test (or 5) and they’ve all come back negative but you’re you’re not confident in the results.
There are two types of pregnancy tests- one checks through your urine, the other via a blood sample. Both tests determine pregnancy by the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is produced by the placenta shortly after the embryo attaches itself to the lining of your uterus and then builds up quickly in your body in the first few days of pregnancy. It is this fast shift in rising/changing hormones that can cause a lot of your pregnancy symptoms.
Blood Test: Generally, a blood pregnancy test can detect pregnancy much quicker than urine, roughly 7-12 days after conception (the day you had sex). However, if your blood test comes back negative, you should retest in a week, especially if your period is late/missed. Getting a blood test done can give you peace of mind earlier, however be in mind its more costly (a urine test you can get at the dollar store for $1!) and you have to wait a few days for your results. Blood test for hcg level remains the most accurate way to determine pregnancy.
Get a pregnancy blood test done yourself: If you don’t currently have a doctor or can’t get an appointment for several weeks, there is now an easier way to get quicker answers. Thanks to the wonderful internet, it is now possible to order just about any and every blood test you can think of online…without a doctors order. Yes, you will pay this out of pocket (another bonus for you if you lack insurance) but a lot of times its less costly than getting a doctors order for a test. By ordering yourself online though one of many reputable companies, you cut out the middleman (your physician) which may end up costing you less. How it works is you will pick and choose your tests on the companies website, place in your “shopping cart,” then after you check out you’ll be given your receipt with a “script” you created yourself and a designated lab (usually Quest Lab) to visit to get your tests done. Results are then uploaded on the website or mailed directly to you. Of course, follow up with your doctor is always recommended.
Urine Test: It is recommended not to take a urine test until the first day of a missed period (or about two weeks after conception). There are tests on the market (such as First Response ) that claim you can test up to 5 days BEFORE a missed period, however by not waiting until your period is late, you run the risk of a false negative. In this case, if you strongly suspect your pregnant, wait a few days and test again.
Tests vary in how long you have to wait to get a result. Usually you will need to wait 3-5 mins, depending on the brand of test. When the time is up, you will be looking for a line, or a symbol (like a plus or minus), or a change in color on the urine stick. Be sure to follow the instructions to get the most accurate results! There are now digital pregnancy tests offered by ClearBlue that make reading your results more simple than determining if there is or is not a second line: the window will either show the words “not pregnant” or “pregnant”.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms
- Late/missed period
- Lower abdomen pain/cramps
- Light bleeding/spotting
- Breast soreness