Pregnancy Testing Information.

So, you think you might be pregnant?

"Approximately four days after fertilization, the egg will start to produce a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hGC). A pregnancy test will detect this hormone about one week after fertilization. Most women tend to wait to take a pregnancy test until after they have missed one menstrual period. If you take a pregnancy test one week after you were supposed to get your period, the result will be about 95% accurate. If you take it too soon after fertilization, it may show up negative when in fact you really are pregnant." (Edited quote from The Baby Corner.)

I recommend you wait until your first missed period. Your period is more or less a good indication of what is going on inside your reproductive system and whether one of those little sperm has managed to get through. Please note though, it is also possible to APPEAR to have a period throughout your pregnancy (though not all that likely) and so it would be a good idea to have a pregnancy test about 2 months later to make sure anyway.

If your period doesn't come. This could be for a number of reasons. I'll bet you are worrying right? Worrying and stress can seriously delay your period, depending on the amount of stress you are under. It is best to wait about a week or 2 after your period was due before buying the pregnancy test. This ensures an accurate result and you've given everything plenty of time to settle down.

Now, pregnancy testing can be done either at home with a home testing kit costing around the 10-20 dollar mark. It can also be done at your local family planning clinic (Planned Parenthood in most American cities and your local Sexual Health clinic/hospital in the UK) for free. Your parents don't need to find out or give permission for it to happen and it is completely confidential.

If you are choosing the home pregnancy testing kit as your desired method then you are going to be a bit nervous about buying it. Its like buying condoms, everyone tells you not to worry but you still end up walking to the cashiers with the "SUPER STRONG EXTRA THICK SLIPPY SLIDY RIBBED EXPERIENCE" ones because you grabbed them in a hurry. When you walk into the drugstore, the pregnancy testing kits are situated in the "Family Planning" aisle of many, right where the condoms are. The cheapest and most expensive don't have much difference between them in accuracy, so just buy the one you can afford. No matter how much you think it is, no one at the cashiers counter will remember that you bought a pregnancy testing kit and will recognize you the next time you walk in! Just check the packaging before you buy it and make sure you understand the instructions on the back. Have your money ready and go to the cashier. When you get home or into a washroom, check the instructions again, make sure you follow them to the last full stop and remain calm throughout. Some of these tests require a urine (pee) sample, so if you think you don't have a very good "aim" then have an old cup (wash it yourself or throw it out afterwards) to get a better target.

If you choose to go to your local Family Planning clinic/doctor for your pregnancy test then make sure you book your appointment early to avoid awkward times. When you go in to see the doctor, explain you are there for a pregnancy test and they will probably need a urine sample too. They will then perform the same test that happens in home testing kits (these tests check for hormones which are present when you are pregnant) and give you the result pretty much instantaneously.

If the test comes out positive in either testing case, then I recommend that you go and see your local Family Planning clinic and talk to the doctor. If you are went to the clinic, that's half the battle right there as you are with the doctor at that time. You will be advised of the choices you will have to make and where to go from here.

If the test comes out negative, then you have gotten away this time. Pregnancy test are meant to be considered screening tests. If your test comes up negative, but you are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy you should call your doctor.