If I think I may be pregnant, when should I be tested?
Most women seek out a pregnancy test when they are late for, or have completely
skipped a menstrual period. They may also be experiencing nausea, vomiting, fatigue,
or breast tenderness, or feeling like they are getting their period but it just
does not come. The pregnancy test offered by Student Health tests for the presence
of the hormone HCG in urine or blood, which can accurately detect pregnancy as early
as 7 to 10 days after conception. Whether testing urine or blood, the same test
is used. In urine, the concentration of HCG can be affected by fluid intake, so
the first morning urine (least diluted) is the best one for the most reliable test.
What are the symptoms of pregnancy?
- A late, or missed menstrual period
- Vomiting, especially early morning
- Breast tenderness or fullness
- A feeling that your period is coming but it just doesn’t materialize
When should I seek out a pregnancy test?
Consider having a pregnancy test done if you’ve experienced any of the symptoms
- You’ve had intercourse without using contraception, with insufficient contraception,
or had a contraceptive failure (e.g. a torn condom)
- You missed two or more birth control pills in your pack; your 3-month contraceptive
injection was after 13 weeks; if your birth control patch has been off for more
than one day or you started late,
- You’ve had intercourse against your will or without your consent
If you are within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, the Emergency Contraceptive
pill could be an option (see Emergency Contraception).