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Taking A Pregnancy Test: The Symptoms of Pregnancy

Most women struggle with the decision of when to take a pregnancy test. Remember that a missed period is one of the strongest indicators that a woman may be pregnant. Other signs of pregnancy include:

  •     Darkening of the aureoles, which is the area around the nipple.
  •     Sickness or queasiness, traditionally referred to as morning sickness.
  •     Sudden fatigue and exhaustion.
  •     An increase in basal body temperature.
  •     Swollen or tender breasts.
  •     Light bleeding, commonly known as spotting.
  •     Headaches and backaches.
  •     Frequent urination.
  •     Strong food cravings or new food aversions.
Remember that not all women will experience all of pregnancy symptoms. However, the majority of women will notice at least several of these symptoms as their pregnancies progress.

How Accurate Are Pregnancy Tests?

Thanks to medical science, modern pregnancy tests are extremely accurate. Both blood and urine pregnancy tests are believed to be around 97 percent accurate when performed correctly. Remember that taking a test too early can affect its accuracy. There are also some medications that can interfere with the accuracy of both blood and urine pregnancy tests. Women who are concerned about how their prescription medications may affect a pregnancy test should consult with their doctors.

What is A False Negative on A Pregnancy Test?

Some women receive what are called false negatives on their pregnancy tests. A false negative is simply a situation in which the pregnancy test doesn't detect pregnancy, but the woman is actually pregnant. Premature testing causes the majority of false negatives. Women who produce low levels of HCG in early pregnancy may also receive false negatives on pregnancy tests.

What is A False Positive on A Pregnancy Test?

In some situations, women may receive a positive result on a pregnancy test when they are not actually pregnant. This may be due to medications that they are taking. Women who take pregnancy tests soon after the embryo has implanted may also receive a false positive if they go through a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy is a miscarriage that happens very early in pregnancy.

It is important to carefully evaluate testing options before taking a pregnancy test. Laboratory blood and urine tests do not require a visit to a doctor's office. Such tests are generally more accurate than home pregnancy tests. Laboratory pregnancy tests can provide women with the peace of mind that they need during this exciting time of life.