Pregnancy Test

PDF
WHERE CAN I GET A PREGNANCY TEST?

You can get a pregnancy test from the chemist that you can perform yourself. Please read the instructions carefully. You can also get a pregnancy test done by your local doctor or a family planning clinic.

HOW IS A PREGNANCY TEST DONE?

The test looks for a hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotrophin or BhCG which is produced
by the placenta during pregnancy.

HOW SOON AFTER CONCEPTION WILL THE TEST BECOME POSITIVE?

BhCG can be detected in the blood or urine once the fertilised egg has implanted into the lining of the uterus. This can occur anywhere between 6-12 days after conception (but usually by day 10). The level of hormone then doubles every 2-3 days until about 12 weeks.

HOW ACCURATE ARE PREGNANCY TESTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF A MISSED PERIOD?

By one week, after a missed period, the pregnancy test will be positive in the vast majority of women

WHICH IS MORE ACCURATE, A URINE TEST OR A BLOOD TEST?

A blood test is slightly more accurate at the time of the missed period. This is because there may not be enough BhCG in the urine to make the test positive.

WHAT IF THE TEST IS NEGATIVE AND MY PERIOD STILL DOES NOT COME?

We would recommend a repeat pregnancy test in case the first test was taken too early. An early morning urine specimen can be more accurate because the specimen is more concentrated. If the early morning urine specimen is negative it is advisable to repeat the urine pregnancy test  at 1-2 weeks 

WHAT IF MY PREGNANCY TEST IS POSITIVE AND I HAVE A PERIOD?

Bleeding may occur in early pregnancy for a number of reasons. A small amount of bleeding can occur when the fertilised egg implants into the wall of the uterus. Sometimes bleeding may be a sign of a miscarriage. Miscarriage in early pregnancy is quite common. Up to one in four pregnancies may miscarry.

CAN MEDICATIONS INTERFERE WITH THE RESULT OF THE TEST?

Only a small number of medications interfere with the test. It is best to ask your health care practitioner.

WILL ALCOHOL OR RECREATIONAL DRUGS INTERFERE WITH A PREGNANCY TEST RESULT?

Drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin and alcohol will not affect the accuracy of the test.

WHAT DO I DO NOW THAT THE PREGNANCY TEST IS POSITIVE?

This answer depends on how you feel about the pregnancy. For some women an unplanned pregnancy can create feelings of confusion and/or distress. Talking to your local doctor, sexual health clinician at a sexual health centre or a clinician at a family planning service can help you to talk about issues which are important to you concerning your pregnancy and  provide information about your options.

DISCLAIMER:
This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Pregnancy test. It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.
Last Updated August 2012