How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

If you are worried you may be unexpectedly pregnant, taking a reliable pregnancy test is the first step toward knowing for sure. The most common types of pregnancy tests include a reactive strip designed to detect hCG levels, a pregnancy hormone, in your urine. 

However, timing is critical because there may not be detectable levels of hCG if you take the pregnancy test too soon after sex.

Choosing a Pregnancy Test 

Do I Need a Blood or Urine Test to Know If I’m Pregnant? 

Both types are designed to detect hCG, but blood tests can detect the levels sooner than the urine tests. However, this requires a visit to the doctor’s office, and results may not be immediately available.

The type of pregnancy tests you can get at your local pharmacy or drugstore are urine tests.

Could a Home Pregnancy Test Be Wrong?

While they are generally highly accurate, one study indicates that up to 5% of pregnancy tests can be misleading. While it may be a negative result, you could, in fact, still be pregnant.

Taking a Pregnancy Test

How Soon After Unprotected Sex Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?

While you may be eager to know whether you are pregnant, taking a pregnancy test immediately after sex won’t give you the most reliable results. When the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining, the placenta begins to form and produce the hCG hormone. 

However, according to the Mayo Clinic, a pregnancy test is most reliable if you wait until a few days after your missed period. This gives your body enough time to produce detectable hCG levels for an accurate reading on your pregnancy test.

If you’re unsure about the timing, contact us at Metro Women’s Center, and, depending on when you missed your period, we can help you discuss when the best time to take a pregnancy test  might be.

Should I Take More Than One Pregnancy Test?

Taking more than one pregnancy test helps eliminate any possible error with the first test. 

If you’ve taken an at-home pregnancy test but would like to verify again, we offer no-cost pregnancy tests at our center. 

Suppose you’ve already taken a positive pregnancy test. In that case, we can refer you for a no-cost ultrasound. An ultrasound can help you determine the pregnancy’s age and location (this confirms whether or not it is ectopic).

Where To Get a Pregnancy Test for Free

At Metro Women’s Center, we provide confidential services, including no-cost pregnancy tests. It’s okay if you’re stressed, nervous, or overwhelmed as you figure out the next step. 

We are here to help support you, so contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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