Everything About Your Pregnancy Test

Early Pregnancy Test - Killing the Rabbit

In the early 20th century it was found that a rabbit or mouse could be used as a pregnancy test. A pregnant woman’s urine was injected into it. After a few days, the ovaries of the rabbit would change. The rabbit was then cut open and the ovaries examined. If the change happened, then the woman must have been pregnant! I shudder to think that somebody cooked up such an idea in the first place, let alone tried it out! The term, “The Rabbit Died” became a clever way to say “I’m pregnant.” But this is kind of silly. ALL the rabbits used in this test died because the ovaries had to be examined.

Modern Pregnancy Test

Fortunately rabbits need not die for us to get to the bottom of pregnancy today. However, the rabbit test proved a reliable method for testing pregnancy. The idea behind it was used to invent a more humane method! Pregnancy tests purchased over the counter at the drug store are designed to detect the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. This is the hormone that is released when a fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus. The medium on the test stick reacts and changes color if the hormone is present. Generally speaking these tests are very accurate at detecting hCG. Each manufacturer has their own accuracy rate. Each claims their own range for how early their test can detect a pregnancy. You can find this information on the side of the packaging the test comes in. It is important to note that it is not a guarantee that it will detect hCG at a specific point. Hormones are a biological system which can be affected by many factors.

False Negative

A false negative could happen if a fertilized egg has implanted in the uterus, but the hCG has not built up enough for the test to show it. Pregnancy Tests are usually sold in a multi pack. If you have missed a period, and the first test result is negative but believe yourself to be pregnant, be patient. Wait several days before using the next test, and use the urine first thing in the morning as your body has had all night to concentrate the hormone. It is rare that a pregnancy test would come from a faulty batch. It is also rare that a pregnant woman would never register a positive urine pregnancy test. The most likely cause of a negative test when a pregnancy actually exists is that your body has not built up enough hCG yet.

False Positive

A false positive could result from a couple of scenarios. A malfunction in the body like rare forms of cancer can release hCG. Seek a primary care physician or your ObGyn if you have had a false positive. hCG does not serve a purpose other than pregnancy in a healthy female body. You may also find a false positive if you have miscarried. In this case the pregnancy that existed before had previously produced hCG, and the amount of hCG Could be declining. Miscarriage is an unfortunate possibility. If you have had a miscarriage, we are here to help you too!

Blood Pregnancy Test

There is no evidence that a blood test for pregnancy is more accurate than a urine test. The blood test differs from the urine test in that a blood test produces a count of hormones in the blood. This count is quantifiable or more precise, and could be used to detect a pregnancy before a urine test can. However there would be no medical need to do such a test until a missed period. It is therefore unlikely that a doctor would order a blood test before then. A single blood test only verifies that hCG is present. A proper blood test will take two samples and compare the quantity of HcG in both samples. It would indicate a positive if the hCG levels rose from the first test to the second. If the levels declined, it would indicate a miscarriage or other problems should hCG continue to be found in the blood. Understand that if you want a blood test to verify pregnancy, you will have to wait for the second visit, and the results from the lab. This could be a couple of days or more!

Pregnancy Verification

The results of a pregnancy test are not official until they have been witnessed and certified by a nurse or other medical provider. Please do not bring your positive pregnancy test you did at home to a clinic to have it read. The nurse will want you to take a new test that they can witness the results. The nurse will then sign off on the result and use your last menstrual period to provide an estimated date of conception. This verification form is used as evidence to begin obstetric (pregnancy) care. It can also be used to apply for presumptive eligibility Medi-Cal and insurance benefits. Getting a pregnancy verification signed by a nurse is the first step regardless of the decision you want to make about your pregnancy. If you are considering an abortion, a pregnancy verification should be obtained before an abortion is performed. It is unethical for a doctor to perform an abortion before a pregnancy verification is completed. Pregnancy Care Clinic is pleased to offer pregnancy verification free of charge. You should know however that a pregnancy verification is not a diagnosis of viability. A doctor must read an ultrasound with measurements of a beating heart, growth markers to determine gestational age, and determining if the baby is located in the uterus to diagnose a viable pregnancy. Pregnancy Care Clinic also offers ultrasound free of charge to diagnose pregnancy! We want to walk with you through this journey. Make an appointment today!