Pregnancy Testing Service
Pregnancy tests check for the presence or absence of a pregnancy associated hormone (produced by the placenta during pregnancy) called HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). HCG, which can be detected in the blood or urine, increases in the body as pregnancy advances. The traditional urine tests are able to detect HCG about 2 weeks after a missed period. Please note that this test is not accurate unless you are at least 2 weeks late for your period. The test you take at a Woman’s Health Center is clinically accurate from 3-10 days from your last missed period.
Regular and Early Test Results
- Positive Results
What does a positive pregnancy test mean? A pregnancy test that is positive indicates with a very high degree of accuracy that particular hormones (HCG) are present in your urine, which means that you are probably pregnant.
If the pregnancy is unplanned or unwanted at this time, and abortion is your choice, an appointment may be made with us through the 13th week of pregnancy. The earlier an abortion is performed, the safer it is, so please do not delay if you choose to terminate. (The very safest time is around 6 - 8 weeks).
If adoption is contemplated, counseling services and referrals are available. If your pregnancy is planned or desired, information and referrals are available. There is no charge for options counseling.
- False Positives
False positives may occur for the following reasons:
- Interfering substances resulting from certain drugs or medications you are taking.
- For unknown reasons called Biologic False Positives.
- Very rarely, certain tumors of the ovary can cause a positive test.
- Large amounts of protein or blood in the urine.
If you suspect a false positive test result, avoid certain medications or drugs and repeat the test in a few days. If the test result in positive, see your doctor.
- Negative Results
What does a negative pregnancy test mean? If the result is negative, this means that the hormones (HCG) associated with pregnancy were not detected in your urine specimen. There can be several reasons why these hormones were not detected:
- You are pregnant, but it is too early to detect the hormones.
- You are not pregnant but missed a period for another reason.
There can be many reasons for skipping a period or for being late:
- emotional strain
- changes in lifestyle
- a reaction to starting or discontinuing the birth control pill
Sometimes there isn’t a reason….some women simply become irregular from time to time. At any rate, if you suddenly become irregular, it is a good idea to have a pelvic exam.
- False Negatives
It is possible to have a negative test and still be pregnant. This can happen when:
- It is too early to detect the HCG hormone associated with pregnancy. Even a day or two early can give you a “false negative” result.
- If the pregnancy is no longer viable.
- If it is an ectopic pregnancy (commonly known as a tubal pregnancy).
- The sample used for the urine test was not the first morning urine. The first morning urine has the highest concentration of HCG for accurate testing.
- If you are less than two weeks late for your period, or not late at all.
If you suspect a false negative, repeat the pregnancy test in a week. If the test is still negative, have a pelvic exam to check for pregnancy.
If you have a questionable urine test result, please speak with a member of our staff or with your private doctor. Remember, women on birth control pills frequently miss periods and are not pregnant.
- Common Early Signs of Pregnancy
- Missed period or “abnormal” period
- Frequent urination
- Enlarged and sore breasts
- Sensitivity to odors
- Tired and/or depressed feeling