While the internet is a great source for lots of information, it’s definitely not where you should be looking to figure out if you’re pregnant—or should I say, if you’re pregananat. When you need to know if you’re expecting, skip Yahoo! Answers and take a test.
Over-the-counter pregnancy tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone in urine. HCG is produced by the body only during pregnancy, starting from when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining.
Pregnancy tests are available at any pharmacy, as well as through online options like Dima, and don’t require a prescription. They can range in price from around P50 to P200, but a more expensive test doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more accurate. As long as you take it correctly and at the right time, most tests claim a 99% accuracy rate. Our pregnancy tests only cost 58PHP!
You can take the test as soon as there’s enough detectable HCG in your body. Many tests, including ours, say you can reliably take it as soon as on the first missed day of your period.
Knowing when exactly is the best time for a pregnancy test might be trickier if you have an irregular period (or don’t get your period at all), or if you’re on hormone treatment. This timing also may not work if you’re a long way from your next period and need to know sooner rather than later. In these cases, it’s recommended that you wait 2-3 weeks after sex to take a test. This is because fertilization and implantation can take up to 6-10 days to happen.
Firstly, check the packaging! Read the instructions carefully and make sure your test isn’t expired. The best time to take the test is in the morning, as your first pee of the day would have the highest concentration of HCG.
Avoid touching the part of the test where the sample is taken (sometimes this is a dropper or cup) both before and after taking your sample, and take your urine sample midstream. Lastly, make sure you wait for the correct amount of time for the test to work.
Your body produces more HCG the longer you’re pregnant—in fact, its HCG concentration doubles every 2 to 3 days. This means that pregnancy tests are more accurate the longer you wait. This also means that, inversely, the chances of a false negative go up the shorter you wait after having sex. So make sure you take the test at the correct time to avoid a false negative.
If you want to be extra sure about your results, it’s best to take more than one test, a week or two apart from each other.
False positives are much less common than false negatives, but they do happen. Taking fertility drugs that contain HCG, having a miscarriage, or having an ectopic pregnancy could all result in a positive test result.
If your test comes out negative and you’re not confident in its accuracy, you can take another one in a week or two, when (assuming it’s a false negative) there would be more HCG in your system to be detected.
If it’s negative and you’re confident in the result, then you’re not pregnant. If this is good news, then great! If you were hoping for a positive and are having trouble conceiving, consider talking to a doctor about your options.
If your test comes out positive, it’s time to talk to a doctor. There’s now a tiny future person growing inside you, and it’s important to start a prenatal program to keep you both healthy. Hopefully, a positive test is good news but, if not, you can also talk to your doctor about what options are available to you.
There are many different strategies to avoid pregnancy, ranging from abstinence to natural family planning (NFP) options like the rhythm method and withdrawal. These NFP options don’t have the best success rates though. For example, out of those practicing the rhythm method, up to 24 out of 100 still get pregnant each year.
The safest way to ensure you don’t get pregnant accidentally is really birth control, birth control, birth control! On top of that, and especially if no other birth control options are available to you, make sure you also use barrier methods like condoms (bonus: condoms are the only contraceptive to also protect from STIs).
Remember folks, safe sex is good sex!
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August 14, 2020