Sooner or later, most women find themselves testing for pregnancy. Whether you’re actively trying to expand your family or are taking birth control to prevent pregnancy, your first missed period or pregnancy symptom can send you to the store to purchase a test. Testing can be exciting or terrifying, depending on the result you wish to see or when you don’t know what to expect.
Knowing when to test, however, can be easier said than done. A test at the wrong time can lead to a false result while testing correctly can give you plenty of time to make a decision that’s right for you. Here’s when you should take the plunge with a pregnancy test.
When You Miss Your Period
A missed period is often the first sign of potential pregnancy, even in women taking birth control. While not all women have predictable periods, with cycles varying by days or even weeks from one month to the next, a period that doesn’t come is a good indicator that a test is necessary.
Women can have missed periods for other reasons as well, so an absent Aunt Flo doesn’t always mean pregnancy. Stress, weight loss, and hormonal shifts can all affect your menstrual cycle.
The Two-Week Wait
The period following ovulation is often known as the two-week wait, referring to the average length of time between ovulation and the change in hormone levels that results in a positive pregnancy. If you have a predictable cycle and believe you might have had intercourse during your time of ovulation, two weeks after the date of ovulation is the best time to test.
When You Begin to See Signs
Numerous signs often accompany the early stages of pregnancy in addition to a missed period. If you experience any of the following symptoms, taking a pregnancy test may be appropriate.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breast tenderness or swelling
- Extreme fatigue
- Heightened sense of smell
- Pale pink spotting
Pregnancy Test Tips
When you take a home pregnancy test, it’s best to do so first thing in the morning as this urine will have a more concentrated amount of the hormone hCG, providing more accurate results. Time your test according to the instructions on the box – not all makes and models use the same schedule. Most kits come with two tests, as well; take both to avoid a false initial reading.
Support from Avail NYC
Taking a pregnancy test alone can be very overwhelming, especially if you weren’t planning on getting pregnant anytime soon. If you want support in your journey, Avail NYC can help. With free, self-administered pregnancy tests available, you can confidentially verify your pregnancy. And if positive, one of our client advocates can provide you with the information and support you need to make a decision about how to move forward.
Avail NYC provides a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our client advocates or learn more about our free, confidential services.
Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.