Pregnancy Testing

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Pregnancy Testing FAQ

How do pregnancy tests work?

There are two basic types of pregnancy tests: urine tests (which you can buy at pharmacies and drugstores or receive from a doctor’s office) and blood tests (which are administered by doctors or nurses). However, both blood tests and urine tests work in the same way: they detect the presence of a hormone known as hCG, or human chorionic gonadotrophin. This hormone is produced when a fertilized egg attaches to a woman’s uterine lining and triggers the cascade of bodily changes needed to support pregnancy. Most early pregnancy symptoms are caused by these sudden and dramatic hormone changes.

How accurate are pregnancy tests?

The accuracy of pregnancy tests depends on a few factors, including how long you’ve been pregnant and what kind of test you are using. Urine tests can be very accurate, but their accuracy is reduced if you take them more than a few days before your expected menstrual period. Taken at the right time, however, a urine test is more than 99% accurate at detecting whether you are pregnant.

At Northtown Pregnancy Center we offer nurse-administered urine pregnancy testing free of charge. You may also qualify for a free ultrasound. With an ultrasound we will be able to confirm your pregnancy and estimate the date of conception based on how developed your baby is.

Can a pregnancy test be wrong?

Pregnancy tests are occasionally incorrect, but this is almost always because they were taken too early. If you take the test too early it could result in a false negative - a situation where the test says you aren’t pregnant when you really are. If you do get back a negative pregnancy test but keep experiencing symptoms related to pregnancy, you may want to take a second test. Sometimes it takes a few days for a detectable level of HCG hormone to build up in your bloodstream.

Much less common is a false positive, when the test says you are pregnant but you actually aren’t. False positives only happen in very rare circumstances, such as when you take a pregnancy test after recently miscarrying or if you are on hormone therapy to help increase your fertility. However, if a pregnancy test is read incorrectly, or left to sit on the counter for too long, the result may be interpreted as positive, when it is actually negative. Also, a positive pregnancy test does not necessarily indicate a viable pregnancy (a pregnancy which is capable of developing normally under normal circumstances). Only a limited obstetric ultrasound can tell if your pregnancy is viable.

Will you ever share the results of my pregnancy test?

Never! If you choose to take a free pregnancy test at Northtown Pregnancy Center, your results are 100% confidential. We will never tell anyone about your pregnancy test results, or even that you had a test performed, without your permission. If your partner or a family member comes with you to your appointment, we will let you tell them the results yourself.

My pregnancy test came back positive. What now?

If you have received a positive result on a pregnancy test, you need to begin considering your next steps. If you aren’t sure about your options or don’t know what to do next, call Northtown Pregnancy Center today at 716-800-2306. Along with free pregnancy testing, we offer free pregnancy verification ultrasounds. An ultrasound will verify a viable pregnancy and will determine gestational age.

Couldn’t find the answer?

Do you think you might be pregnant? Are you experiencing early pregnancy symptoms? A pregnancy test is the best way to determine whether or not you’re pregnant and if you should begin considering your different pregnancy options. To schedule a free pregnancy test, call 716-800-2306 today.