Is it really true?
Maybe you’re feeling a little sick, perhaps your boobs are incredibly sensitive or maybe your period just hasn’t arrived. You’re incredibly tired or constantly on the loo or unable to stomach your usual morning coffee. Perhaps you’ve got all these symptoms or perhaps you have none.
Whatever makes you suspect pregnancy, you potter off to your local supermarket or pharmacy and head for the aisle with the pregnancy tests. Some people may hide under an impressive sunhat and dark glasses, paying via the self-checkouts and praying to whoever that they don’t run into someone they know. For others, its a team trip. Your best friend, partner or mum comes along, and you discuss the pros and cons of each type of test. You then proudly take it to the staffed checkouts and smile broadly at the cashier.
Tests come in many different packages and seem to offer a myriad of different options. Some proclaim they can tell you incredibly early on, whilst others tell you in words instead of faint lines, to avoid confusion.
Whichever test you choose, they are all looking for the same thing: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is produced by the growing embryo and is, therefore, a good indicator of pregnancy. The levels being produced by the embryo increase steadily in the first few weeks of pregnancy. If you are using a pregnancy test in the very early weeks of pregnancy (2 – 4 weeks) it is better to use the first urine passed in the morning. This will have higher levels of the hormone and therefore give a more accurate result.
Pregnancy tests these days are very reliable. Most GPs and midwives will not require a laboratory test to confirm what your home test has told you. However, it is worth waiting until you are at least 6 weeks pregnant before you book an appointment with your GP or midwife. This is because there is a higher risk of miscarriage around the time your next period is due. Hopefully this little one will cling on and keep growing well. Good luck!
Did you know?
Before the wide availability of over the counter pregnancy tests, you had to provide a urine sample to your GP. That urine was sent to a hospital laboratory where there were lots of frogs sitting around in cages. A small amount of the urine was injected into a frog and if you were pregnant, the hCG in your urine would cause the frog to produce eggs within 24 hours! Congratulations!