It has been a week that you have missed your period, you are always feeling nauseous and you could sense that something is different.
If this has been your current scenario and you could feel that you ‘might’ be pregnant but you are too anxious and uncomfortable to ask someone, then don’t worry, we have got you covered.
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you think that you might or might not be pregnant and you need a proper test to find the truth. Through this article, we will help you to find out when you should take a pregnancy test and everything else about it.
How soon can you take pregnancy test?
Whenever you miss your period, the only fear and the only question in your mind is when to take a pregnancy test. Here are some points you should consider that can help you with the process.
- Missing periods
One of the biggest reasons for you to take a pregnancy test can be your period running later than usual.
However, periods can also be running late if the woman suffers from PCOS or has any other underlying ailments.
Wait for at least a week or two before taking a pregnancy test to have the most accurate result.
- Breast changes
If you are pregnant, you may notice some changes in your breasts as the body starts producing higher levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the bloodstreams.
These hormones cause the blood to rush to the breasts and make them appear sore and swollen. The appearances may appear darker and larger than usual.
However, these symptoms also take place when the menstrual cycle undergoes, therefore, it cannot be a definitive symptom for pregnancy.
- Light bleeding
When the embryo gets implanted on the uterine wall, light bleeding takes place. This bleeding is lighter and short-lived as compared to menstrual bleeding.
A woman experiences cramps before or during periods. However, this can be a sign when the implantation occurs.
If your period due date is coming near and you are experiencing cramps but instead of your heavy flow you notice light bleeding taking place, it is best to take a pregnancy test.
Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting are one of the biggest symptoms for taking a pregnancy test. If you are suffering from nausea and morning sickness and there are other symptoms of pregnancy involved, it is best to take a pregnancy test.
- Food aversions and cravings
Unusual food cravings are common for those who are pregnant. Some women can also crave non-food items.
- Changes in bathroom habits
Gastrointestinal disorders are common among women who are pregnant. A woman may suffer from constipation, gas and bloating and frequency to urinate also increases.
- Missed contraception
Sexually active women who have encountered a contraceptive mishap within the last month should take a pregnancy test.
Most of the contraceptive methods are 98% effective and there is always a slight chance to be pregnant. If you encounter a broken condom or forget to take your contraceptive pills and experience certain pregnancy symptoms, a pregnancy test will be the answer to all your questions.
- When in doubt
It says that pregnancy increases the gut feeling of a woman. If you have encountered any contraceptive mishap, experiencing symptoms of pregnancy and having the slightest doubt, do a pregnancy test immediately.
How does a pregnancy test work?
To check whether you are pregnant or not, you can either avail to home pregnancy kits or have a blood test done.
Let us go through each of the methods in detail.
- Home pregnancy test kits
Home pregnancy test kits are one of the first things that come to mind whenever someone says about pregnancy tests. One of the most reliable sources for confirmation of your pregnancy is pregnancy kits. The kits use your urine for conformation.
There can be different ways to collect your urine for the test depending on the kit you choose.
- Collect your urine in a cup and dip the pregnancy stick into it.
- Collect your urine in a cup and then with the help of an eyedropper, a small amount is placed on the pregnancy stick.
- You can place the stick in a place where you are sure that it will catch your urine midstream.
The test detects the Human Gonadotropin hormone in the urine. The placenta produces the Gonadotropin hormone if you are pregnant and that gets detected by the pregnancy tests.
After the urine has been collected by the pregnancy kits, a waiting time is generally prescribed on the cover for the results to arrive.
After the waiting time is over, the tests display the results in any one of the following ways:
- Change in colour.
- Appearance of line.
- Generation of symbols, either positive or negative.
Certain procedures should be kept in mind while performing pregnancy tests at home.
- Wait for more than a week after your period’s due date to get the most accurate results.
- Not too many liquids should be consumed before the pregnancy test as it dilutes the Gonadotropin hormones in the bloodstream.
- Do not use an expired pregnancy test.
- Read the instructions thoroughly on the package and follow it meticulously.
- Blood tests
Although rare, sometimes it has been observed that home pregnancy tests can produce an incorrect test result and for further confirmation, you can always avail blood tests.
Blood tests can occur in two ways:
- Qualitative method
This method measures if you have a minimum amount of pregnancy hormone in your blood. The basic emphasis is on the word ‘quality’ and it gives the basic yes or no answer to whether you are pregnant or not. More accurately it answers whether you have the minimum pregnancy hormones in your blood to produce a positive result.
- Quantitative method
This method focuses on the word ‘quantity’ and it measures the amount of pregnancy hormone in your bloodstream. This is also called beta-human gonadotropin hormone test. This test occurs on alternative days to check whether the gonadotropin hormones have been increasing in the blood or not.
Whatever your result is from the pregnancy test, always remember that the final decision always belongs to you. Do not follow some drastic steps. If you have a positive result, consult with your doctor for further guidance and advice.
And if you have a negative result, then it is also best to consult with your doctor as you may suffer from some underlying ailments and it is always better to diagnose as early as possible and treat it with proper treatments and medications.