One of the most trying times in a woman’s life is pregnancy. We know that this process is often difficult, stressful, painful and even dangerous. Many people weigh in about the issue. A lot of those people happen to be women who are currently pregnant, those who have children and some who cannot carry a child. In this section on the “American Women” series we will discuss the legal rights, things that need to change and things that should remain the same. Hopefully we will enlighten, educate and provide a reference for such information. In this section we will discuss the beginning. So you think you might be pregnant?
“I missed my cycle!”
So what to do if you believe you are pregnant or if you believe your partner may be pregnant? Well first things first. Contact a doctor or go to a hospital just to be sure. Even then in the earliest of stages we know that there probably isn’t a definite answer. A pregnancy test certainly isn’t going to be accurate very early on so you’ll probably need to take it a week after missing your period. But keep in mind that going to a doctor is the best thing to do.
There are several different types of pregnancy tests according to Web MD and they are as follow:
What types of pregnancy tests are available?
Two main types of pregnancy tests can let you know if you’re pregnant: urine tests and blood tests.
These products come with instructions. Follow them closely for the most accurate results. After testing, you can confirm results by seeing your doctor, who can perform even more sensitive pregnancy tests.
Blood tests are done at your doctor’s office, but are used less often than urine tests. These tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, or about six to eight days after ovulation. But with these tests, it takes longer to get the results than with a home pregnancy test.
Two types of blood pregnancy tests are available:
A qualitative hCG test simply checks to see if hCG is present. It gives a “yes” or “no” answer to the question, “Are you pregnant?” Doctors often order these tests to confirm pregnancy as early as 10 days after amissed period. However, some of these tests can detect hCG much earlier.
A quantitative hCG test (beta hCG) measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. It can find even very low levels of hCG. Because these pregnancy tests can measure the concentration of hCG, they may be helpful in tracking any problems during pregnancy. They may also (in combination with other tests) be used to rule out a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy or to monitor a woman after a miscarriage when hCG levels fall rapidly.
Now according to the above information, in a more simplified way, you have two main options but within those options for a pregnancy test there is a bit of fleshing out. Keep in mind that pregnancy tests are not always accurate 100% of the time but we do know they are accurate 99% of the time. The urine test is less accurate than the blood test. Basically what these tests are measuring is hCG for the blood sample and urine is pretty straight forward. However this is no substitute for a doctor who can perform tests that are not readily available for the general public.
The most important part about taking a pregnancy test is following the instructions. Deviation from those instructions could result in an incorrect result. Another crucial part of the mindset you need to have if you think you are pregnant is the work you do beforehand. It may seem tedious but there is a reason why there is so much advice out there to monitor your monthly cycle. When you visit the doctor your due date, in all likelihood, will be calculated based off your last cycle and when you missed it. Of course there is no single way to know an exact due date as we know due dates tend to be wrong a lot of times. However the more information that can be relatively accurate the better off you’ll be.
Now why are due dates wrong so often? The answer to that question is about as wild as a ferocious wind. Everything from irregular periods to the time frame of ultrasounds can be the culprit. According to What To Expect there are four main reasons for the inconsistencies which are irregular periods, time of ultrasound, the fundal height is above average and abnormal AFP levels. Just think that if most times, unless you did the IVF option, a doctor will base your due date based off of when your last menstrual cycle was. If you have irregular menstrual cycles this could cause issues in determining a decently accurate due date. Even if a due date is reached we know women go into labor outside of those dates.
Keep a good record of medical histories of yourself and your family as that may become relevant information. Now this may not seem important to some women. However, consider that a history of preeclampsia with their mother could be hereditary and that condition can develop into a condition called eclampsia which can result in seizures and can actually be fatal. Histories of high blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases and all relevant medical information should be subjects to disclose to your doctor.
This is part one of a collective series about American women. Yes, women across the spectrum can get pregnant. However American women have tend to have a lot of pregnancy complications. The series will expand to women across the board in the future.
Thanks for reading!
Dion McNeil is a writer for the Soap Box Corner. Dion is a stay at home dad who specializes in psychology, social issues, atheism and skepticism.