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Week 50-How soon can you get an accurate result from a pregnancy test?

August 7, 2009

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how-pregnancy-tests-work-1There are different types of pregnancy tests – blood tests and urine tests.

A blood test can be accurate 8 to 10 days after ovulation – but you have to know when ovulation occurred.  A woman with a very regular menstrual cycle usually ovulates about 14 days before the first day of her period.  A blood test has to be administered by a health care provider, who will be looking for the “pregnancy hormone” hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)

A urine test can be done by your health care provider or can be bought at a drug store, over the counter.  Most urine pregnancy tests are most accurate after a woman has missed her period-then they are about 99% effective.  If a test is done before a missed period it may still be effective – but not as conclusive.

Pregnancy tests on the market differ slightly.  Some offer high effectiveness a few days before a missed period while others detect various levels of the hormone hCG to determine the answer.  All range between $10 and $25.

Some over the counter pregnancy tests are digital – others offer name recognition.  You will notice that some come in multi packs – in case the first test is inconclusive or you need to test again the following month.

If you think you are unexpectedly pregnant and are undecided about a pregnancy, the best thing to do is get an accurate test as soon as possible.

Caution:  If a woman’s period is late and the pregnancy tests are negative but there are other symptoms synonymous with pregnancy – see your health provider.

Planned Parenthood of northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

Should you have a question you would like to see included, please send an email to goddess@ppnne.org

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