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Think you might be pregnant? Pregnancy testing is the first step in finding out.

How Does Pregnancy Testing Work?

During pregnancy, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is present in your body. This special hormone tells your body to stop menstruating and prepare to sustain a pregnancy.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting hCG in your blood or urine. At-home pregnancy tests utilize a urine sample, while blood pregnancy tests are available in a clinic. However, blood pregnancy tests are rarely used unless you’re at-risk for complications, like miscarriage, and need your hCG levels to be measured.

When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Since hCG levels start low and rise quickly, the timing of taking the pregnancy test is essential.

Most at-home pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate if taken on the first day of your missed menstrual period. This means knowing your expected period date is important for receiving the most accurate results. However, many women have irregular periods, so knowing when to test can be difficult. If this is your situation, try estimating your expected period date and test then. If you receive a negative result but still haven’t had your period, try testing again in a week. Sometimes, even one day makes all the difference between receiving a positive result. This is because hCG levels rise quickly every day.

Many at-home pregnancy tests also recommend using your first urine of the morning, since this sample will have the most concentrated levels of hCG.

What if I Receive a Positive Result?

If you receive a positive result on your at-home pregnancy test, it’s important to take a deep breath. It’s easy to panic, but there are steps you need to take to confirm your pregnancy and stay safe.

The next step is to get an ultrasound. This simple scan will confirm that you’re in fact pregnant (it’s possible to get a positive pregnancy test result despite miscarrying, since it takes a while for hCG levels to dissipate).

At Choices of the Heart, we offer no-cost, limited ultrasounds to verify your pregnancy and give you other important information (like your pregnancy’s location and viability). Contact us today to schedule your confidential appointment. You’re not alone in this. We’re here for you.

You have options.