How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

If you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms like a missed period, nausea, fatigue, or bloating, it’s wise to test for pregnancy. Sometimes, these symptoms result from another health condition, stress, or weight changes.

Pregnancy tests detect hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is a hormone only produced during pregnancy, and both urine and blood-based tests detect it. Urine-based tests are readily available in grocery stores and pharmacies, while medical providers confirm pregnancy using a blood-based test. And if you are pregnant, your provider will want to monitor hCG levels over time.

When Should I Take A Pregnancy Test?

It’s best to take a pregnancy test several days after your missed period or a few weeks after sexual intercourse. Waiting allows hCG levels to build and increases your chances of an accurate result. If you’re taking an at-home test, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. False negatives can occur if you take the test improperly or too early. It is also wise to take multiple pregnancy tests several days apart.

Helping Hands Pregnancy and Parenting Center’s client advocates offer self-administered, lab-quality pregnancy tests. You’ll learn the results during your appointment, confirm your pregnancy, and identify the next steps. We can also provide pregnancy options information and pregnancy verification for MediCal and WIC applications. These services are free and confidential.

What If My Pregnancy Test Comes Back Positive?

If your test result is positive and you weren’t planning to be pregnant, take a deep breath. Other women have experienced your situation, so know you aren’t alone. And resources are available to help you move forward. Consider telling your partner and loved ones when you feel ready, confirm your pregnancy with a test at our center, and start exploring your options.

You don’t have to navigate an unplanned pregnancy alone. We’re to stand alongside you. Contact us today to get started.

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An unplanned pregnancy can be scary and isolating. Know you don't have to explore options alone. We're here for you.

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