Using contraception, such as a condom, is almost always effective in preventing pregnancy. However, even the most careful individuals can sometimes become pregnant for a host of reasons.
Modern over-the-counter urine pregnancy tests are extremely accurate, and have changed the game for women who believe they might be pregnant. They can, however, be expensive. If you believe that you might be pregnant, then taking a pregnancy test will help you to properly evaluate your options.
We offer free urine pregnancy tests for all of our patients. When the results are inconclusive, we also offer blood pregnancy tests, pelvic exams, and sonograms at a minimal cost.
Signs You Should Take a Pregnancy Test:
- If it has been over a month since your last period.
- You experience cramps but your period does not occur.
- Your breasts begin to appear bigger or feel tender.
- Feelings of nausea, food aversions or increased urination.
- The condom breaks during intercourse or if you skipped a dose of birth control.
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When Should I Get a Pregnancy Test?
Even if you have used protection or the most effective birth control, there is always a chance that you may have become pregnant. If you test positive using an at home pregnancy test, it is important you follow up with an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) to confirm the results.
Our Doctors can follow up with a blood test in order to detect the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is developed by the placenta shortly after the embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus.
If you test positive for pregnancy and choose not to continue with the pregnancy, it is best you schedule an appointment to meet with our doctor right away. Our gynecological office can provide a sonogram to determine how long you have been pregnant, and help discuss your abortion options.
How Soon can a Gyno Detect Pregnancy?
A gyno can detect pregnancy as early as the day after a missed period, but the accuracy will vary for each women. Pregnancy tests detect the hCG hormone which is produced when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. This process usually happens 6 days after intercourse.
There are several ways we can detect pregnancy. This includes urine/blood tests, sonograms and pelvic exams. A blood or urine test will look for the hCG hormone, while the pelvic exam requires the doctor to measure the size of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus.
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Staying informed about your own health — and planning for upcoming decisions — is critical. The team at Stony Brook Women’s Health is here to help you through this process, regardless of the decisions that can make.
Contraception Works, But Not All the Time
There are many different methods of contraception available. While their varying rates of effectiveness are generally high, there are circumstances under which contraception fails.
To avoid undue confusion and stress, women who have even a slight reason to believe they might be pregnant should take a pregnancy test.
5 Signs You Should Take a Pregnancy Test
If you have any reason to believe that you may have become pregnant, then you should take a pregnancy test. Urine pregnancy tests are easily accessible, and offer a quick and simple way to help you evaluate your options.
1. Lack of or Failed Contraception
If a condom breaks during interncourse, or you forgot to take your birth control pill while continuing to have intercourse, then you should take a pregnancy test.
2. You Missed Your Period
If you miss an anticipated period after recent sexual intercourse, then you should take a pregnancy test. This is one of the strongest indicators that a woman is pregnant.
Tracking your periods will help you to determine whether or not you have missed any.
3. Vaginal or Stomach Cramps
Another major indicator of pregnancy is vaginal or stomach cramps. If you experience this cramping without a period, then you should take a pregnancy test to determine whether or not you are pregnant.
4. Tender or Painful Feeling in Breasts
Sore breasts could result from increased blood flow during pregnancy. If this occurs after sexual intercourse, taking a pregnancy test will help you to put your suspicions at ease.
5. Nausea, Fatigue, and Reactions to Food
Feeling off-kilter in one of many ways can often be a strong indicator that you are pregnant. These sensations are an especially important pregnancy indicator if you have other reasons to believe that you are pregnant.
Other Reasons for a Missed Period:
The majority of women will have between 11 and 13 menstrual periods each year. It is also common during the first few years of menstruation to experience irregularity while the hormones begin to balance out. Although pregnancy is the most common reason for a missed period, the following reasons may also be the cause:
- If you are breastfeeding
- Under high emotional stress
- Poor diet
- Eating disorders
- Consumption of illegal drugs
- The onset of menopause
Unsure whether or not your symptoms mean that you should take a pregnancy test? Feel free to contact our office and speak to one of our staff.
How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?
Pregnancy tests are designed to test the woman’s urine for certain hormones found within the body.
After the egg is fertilized within the Fallopian tubes, the placenta then begins to produce hCG. This hormone causes the mother to release progesterone. The modern pregnancy test is designed to check the body for hCG, and also has a control zone that ensures it is working effectively. This control zone is not 100% accurate, but can sometimes indicate that the test was faulty.
3 Alternatives to the Urine Pregnancy Test
For some women, the urine pregnancy test is not enough. Whether there are time-related variables at play, or you have a health condition that might affect the results, there are more certain alternatives.
1. Blood Pregnancy Test
Blood pregnancy tests are performed in our office, and are also designed to test for hCG. The Qualitative hCG blood test simply checks whether or not there is hCG present in the body. The Quantitative hCG blood test evaluates the blood to determine the amount of the hormone that is present.
2. Pelvic Exam
First trimester pregnancy tests are a common way to evaluate the health of a child during pregnancy. However, pelvic exams can also be used to detect pregnancy. During the normal procedure, the doctor will pay attention to the shape, size and other characteristics of the pelvic exams.
Using complex and sophisticated medical imaging technology, the sonogram (or ultrasound) scans the woman’s uterus for any signs of a fetus. The gynecologist will take a probe, shaped in the form of a thin wand, and place it inside the vagina. This wand will transmit high-frequency sound waves through the uterus. Eventually, they will bounce back to the vagina.
What if the test comes back positive?
An unexpected pregnancy is not a simple issue to process, and it can take some time to make the decision that you feel is right. With years of experience in helping women through this difficult process, our office staff is prepared to give you or your loved one the information they need to make the right decision.
Abortion is an Option
There is a never-ending list of reasons that women choose to have an abortion procedure. Whether you do not have the proper resources to raise a child, or you are emotionally unprepared, abortion is a common and acceptable recourse. Women who plan to become pregnant in the future can also receive an abortion, without impacting the reproductive organs.
There are two main abortion methods.
There are no actual incisions involved in a surgical abortion. Instead, the doctor will dilate the cervix, and remove the fetus using a delicate suction tool. The entire procedure lasts five minutes. Our medical team is extremely familiar with this procedure, having performed it many times.
Consisting of two pills, the medical abortion has become increasingly common. Patients are given the first pill, which stops the growth of the pregnancy, in the office. Then, they take the second pill one day later at home. For patients who are still in the first trimester, we can provide the abortion pill, and any necessary advice.