When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?

If you have recently had unprotected (or possibly protected) sex and your period is late, you may be pregnant. No contraceptive has a 100% guarantee of keeping you from getting pregnant. Experts suggest taking a pregnancy test a day or two after you miss your period. Learn more about pregnancy tests and what to do if it’s positive.

How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?

Pregnancy tests measure a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). If pregnant, hCG builds in your body rapidly. You can either take a urine test or a blood test. You get a faster answer with a urine test, but it may be inaccurate. Blood tests take longer to get results, but they are more reliable.

Can I Use an Over-the-Counter Test?

Home pregnancy tests are reasonably accurate and available at several locations. Be aware, though, some at-home tests are more sensitive than others. A few can detect pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception, but the longer you wait, the more accurate your results will be.

It’s best to take the test in the morning when your urine is the most concentrated. At ALC Pregnancy Resource Center, you can take a free and confidential pregnancy test administered by a trained professional.

What Should I Do if the Test is Positive?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. It takes your body time to return to its pre-pregnancy hormone levels, so it is possible to get a positive result on a pregnancy test even though you have miscarried.

What should you do? Your next step is getting an ultrasound. An ultrasound is the best way to determine if your pregnancy is viable (developing with a detectable heartbeat) or if you have miscarried. 

Ultrasound also tells you how far along you are in your pregnancy and if your pregnancy is located in your uterus. Sometimes, a pregnancy implants somewhere other than the uterus. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy. It is extremely dangerous, requiring you to visit your healthcare provider immediately.

Where Can I Get a No-Cost Pregnancy Test and Ultrasound?

ALC Pregnancy Resource Center offers a free and confidential pregnancy test and ultrasound. Although we do not perform or refer for abortions, we can review your results and give you accurate information about your options, including abortion procedures, side effects, and potential risks.

Sign up for your free appointment at either of our locations. Often, same-day appointments are available. At ALC, we are here for you. How can we help you today?