Pregnancy test guide

Updated on by Stefan Banse
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You can easily calculate your due date using the first day of your last period and the average length of your cycle with the Due Date Calculator. The result also includes a pregnancy calendar with numerous other dates of your pregnancy.

Pregnant or not? Planned or unexpected? If the female period does not occur, the question of pregnancy needs to be answered quickly. After all, it is important to take good care of the newborn from the very beginning by adapting your lifestyle. With a pregnancy test, you can know the basic information.

Who carries out a pregnancy test?

The first physical signs of pregnancy are tiredness, morning sickness, mood swings and, of course, the absence of menstruation. A corresponding test is requested by young girls, including family mothers or more mature women. The motivation for doing a urine test or a blood test at the doctor's office often varies:

  • Women who want to have children want to know as early as possible whether or not they are pregnant so that they can adjust their lifestyle accordingly.
  • In the case of artificial insemination, the result should be known as soon as possible.
  • Failure to use contraceptives during the last sexual intercourse leads to fear of a possible pregnancy.

Therefore, women react differently to the result of the test, not everyone is thrilled with a "Yes, you are pregnant!"

What the test measures

Ovulation takes place in the middle of the female cycle. If the egg is now fertilized by the male sperm, the woman's body begins to produce the pregnancy hormone hCG.

About 14 days after fertilization, it is present in urine and blood in such high concentrations that it can be reliably detected by a test.

How a urine test works

Quick tests from the pharmacy or drugstore are the first way many women confirm pregnancy. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Special early tests can be carried out from 7 days before the actual time of the next period. From the 5th week of pregnancy, which is about 1 week after the period has stopped, these tests can detect the hormone hCG quite reliably (the weeks of pregnancy are counted from the first day of the last period). It is recommended to use the selected test in the morning, as the concentration of the hormone is highest in morning urine.

The enclosed package instructions explain the use of the product in detail. The best known are test strips or sticks that are held in the urine stream. Strips in a window or a digital display then show whether a pregnancy exists. The latest generation of pregnancy test even provides information on which week of pregnancy the woman is already in. This is done by accurately determining the concentration of hCG in the urine sample. The product type each woman uses is up to her. Today, most of these tests are reliable; how expensive they are or where they are purchased plays a subordinate role. If the pregnancy test is negative and the period is still absent, then it should be repeated within the next few days. If the test is positive, it is advisable to see a gynaecologist. The gynaecologist accompanies the expectant mother during the entire pregnancy period and monitors the health of both mother and child.

Causes of a false test result

Various influences can cause the result of the pregnancy test to be falsified. These include

  • wrong time of measurement (i.e., use from the 5th or after the 20th week of pregnancy)
  • extremely low concentration of hCG due to excessive drinking
  • hormonal fluctuations, diseases present, or medication taken
  • bacteria in the urine
  • humidity, extreme heat or cold
  • expiry date of the test

The blood test as an additional safety

The pregnancy hormone hCG can be detected even more accurately with the help of a blood test by a gynaecologist as the concentration here is higher than that of the urine. Pregnancy can be detected by the blood test as early as 9 days after fertilization of the egg, which is particularly helpful for women with a strong desire to have children. The test is also suitable if the pregnancy is already far advanced. The results of the blood test are considered 100 percent safe. In addition, the doctor also immediately advises the pregnant woman about future changes in her body and points out the necessary precautions to take, such as abstention from alcohol and nicotine.

The ultrasound in high-risk pregnancies

If the first pregnancy test was already positive, it is worth having an ultrasound performed, especially in the case of high-risk pregnancies or artificial insemination. During this vaginal examination, the gynaecologist can determine exactly how many eggs have been fertilized and where they have nested. At the same time, the gynaecologist can rule out a tubal pregnancy. The ultrasound provides a reliable result from the 7th day after the period has stopped. From the 8th week of pregnancy, this technique can be used to check whether the embryo's heart is beating.

Pregnancy confirmation with the test

Love, security and a healthy lifestyle from the mother give the unborn child a good start. The pregnancy test provides certainty at a very early stage of the pregnancy, with blood tests proving to be safe. But products from the pharmacy or drugstore have long since proven themselves to be quick tests. If used correctly, they can provide reliable results. In case you are pregnant, please feel free to use our Due Date Calendar.

Source information

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Last update on May 4, 2021

The last changes in the "Due Date" category were implemented by Stefan Banse on May 4, 2021. The main changes were: