Health

6 Reasons Not to Take an Early Pregnancy Test

Taking multiple early pregnancy tests has become a habit for many women trying to conceive. It all begins with one pregnancy test every month. Then perhaps two, just a few days before your period is due. Then you start taking a couple each month: maybe one at 8 DPO, 10 DPO, 11 DPO, etc.

We understand that you are trying to conceive and are anxious about getting pregnant.

But taking an early pregnancy test is not going to get you anywhere. Early pregnancy tests mean taking the test before your period begins. However, a pregnancy test done on the day your period is due is still considered early. So, before you take the next pregnancy test, let’s discuss its types and the drawbacks of an early pregnancy test.

What is a pregnancy test?

A pregnancy test detects pregnancy by checking for the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine or blood. The placenta makes hCG after a fertilized egg implants in your uterus. Generally, this hormone is released only during pregnancy. If hCG is detected in your blood or urine, you are most likely pregnant. You can detect hCG in your urine 12-15days after ovulation if you have a 28-day menstrual cycle.

During the first trimester, hCG levels rise steeply  in your blood and urine, then the level decreases throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

Different types of pregnancy tests

1.Pregnancy urine test

A urine pregnancy test detects the hCG hormone in your body around a week after you miss a period. This test can be performed at the doctor’s clinic or with a home test kit. Since these tests are almost the same, many women prefer a home test kit before calling a doctor. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, these kits are  ccurate when used correctly.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions given with the test kit. It will help you to know the best time to use the kit. The amount of time it takes to get a result varies with different test kits. You’ll be looking for a symbol (like a plus or minus), a change in color, or a line.

2.Pregnancy blood test

A pregnancy blood test is done at a doctor’s clinic and has two types.

  • Quantitative blood test: It measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood.
  • Qualitative blood test: This test provides a clear yes or no result as to whether or not you are pregnant.

Pregnancy blood tests, unlike urine tests, may detect even low amounts of HCG in your body and confirm or rule out pregnancy early. If your blood tests indicate a deficient level of HCG, you may have an ectopic pregnancy This is a pregnancy that grows outside of the uterus.

These tests are 99% accurate and are commonly used to confirm the findings of a home pregnancy test.

Taking an early pregnancy test is the most common mistake. It is always better to take a pregnancy test after missed your period. That’s when they work the best. An early pregnancy test may have the following drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Early Pregnancy Tests

1.False Negatives

False negatives are getting a negative result when you are actually pregnant.

Although a home pregnancy test is accurate most of the time, it is possible to get a negative result.

The earlier you take your home pregnancy test following a missed period, the more difficult it is for the test to detect hCG. Repeat the test one week after missing your period for the most accurate results. If you can’t wait that long, get a blood test from your doctor.

2.Cost

To not be bound to the uncertainty of a negative test, many women take multiple early pregnancy tests. As a result, the costs incurred increase exponentially. Testing continuously will cost you a significant amount of money.

Even when you buy low-cost pregnancy test kits in bulk, the multiple tests taken each month will add up to your costs.

3.Chemical Pregnancy

A chemical pregnancy is a type of miscarriage that occurs within the first five weeks of pregnancy, around the time of the expected menstrual cycle. The implantation of the embryo occurs, but then the embryo stops developing. Chemical pregnancies occur so early that many women who miscarry are unaware of it. If you don’t test, you’ll have your period without knowing you had a nonviable pregnancy.

Unfortunately, one of the major drawbacks of early pregnancy tests is that it might detect a pregnancy that will not persist for long, such as a chemical pregnancy.

A positive test result should not be considered a real positive unless it occurs after your missed period.

Hence, it is best to avoid taking an early pregnancy test in order to prevent being disappointed a few days later.

4.Anxiety

The most significant disadvantage of using early pregnancy tests is the anxiety it might cause. While we believe anxiety to be predominantly a mental condition, the stress hormones secreted by your body can be physically harmful.The two-week period is stressful and anxious because of the uncertainty between ovulation and your expected period. You may feel that taking tests will make it less intense, but an early pregnancy test may accomplish the opposite of what you intended.

5.Disappointment

If you’re trying to conceive it’s natural to feel excited to get the pregnancy test confirmed. But taking an early pregnancy test might give you a negative result as discussed earlier. So there are chances that you might feel disappointed and depressed too.

Even if you did conceive, the chances of having a positive result at  10 DPO are quite low.

6.Fertility Treatments Effect

The hormones used in these treatments might show a positive result especially after a trigger shot or an injection of hCG. But, that does not mean you have conceived. Hence, you should consider taking a test at least 10-12 days after the injection.

Summary

  • A pregnancy test detects the hCG levels in your blood and urine.
  • The hCG can be detected in your urine 12-15 days post ovulation.
  • You should take a home pregnancy test after you have missed your period or 14 days following suspected conception.
  • Early pregnancy tests may give false negative or false positive results, which can be distressing.

References

  1. Pregnancy testing – Better Health Channel. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-testing. Published 2022. Accessed April 12, 2022.
  2. Pregnancy Tests – Urine and Blood. American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/understanding-pregnancy-tests/. Published 2022. Accessed April 12, 2022.

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