Knowing If You Are Pregnant

Often, a missed period is the first clue that you might be pregnant. You may suspect pregnancy even before a missed period if you experience symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and breast tenderness. However, you have to take a pregnancy test to confirm it. Pregnancy tests work by detecting a special hormone hCG in the urine or blood that is present only when a woman is pregnant.

There are two types of pregnancy tests; one uses urine sample, the other uses a blood sample:

  • Home Pregnancy Tests: These tests are inexpensive, private, and easy to use. Several brands of HPTs are available and most drugstores sell them over the counter. They work by detecting hCG hormone in your urine. This hormone is present only when you are pregnant. Most home pregnancy tests can tell if you are pregnant about the time you would expect to get your period. The test is typically very accurate if done correctly.
  • Blood Tests: Blood tests are done in a doctor’s office or a health clinic. Two types of blood tests are used by doctors. These tests can pick up hCG hormone earlier in a pregnancy than urine tests can. Blood tests can tell if you are pregnant about six to eight days after you ovulate. These tests are very accurate.

If a home pregnancy test is positive, you should call your doctor to schedule an appointment. Your doctor will likely do a blood test or urine pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy.

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