When should I take a pregnancy test?
While it varies from person to person, if you had unprotected sex, missed a period, or are experiencing some common signs of pregnancy, it’s probably a good idea to take a pregnancy test – even if you are using birth control!
Most over the counter pregnancy tests work best if you use them first thing in the morning, which is when your urine is most concentrated. The tests are looking for the presence of hCG, a hormone produced during the onset of pregnancy.
We always recommend that both you and your partner know your status and get tested for sexually transmitted infections regularly. Using latex condoms as protection against infections is a no brainer, even when choosing to use them with another effective birth control method. Using 2 kinds of protection can greatly decrease your risk of pregnancy, but remember, no method is guaranteed 100% effective.
If you are looking for something that is 99%+ effective with very little room for human error, you may want to consider an IUD or implant. They can be used as contraception for several years, but can also be removed at any time if and when you find yourself ready for a pregnancy.
How Soon Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?
Good question. We get this one a lot. For most accurate results, your best bet will be to take the test early in the morning one week after your first missed period. This allows the time necessary for your body to develop traceable levels of hCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which is a pregnancy hormone released after a fertilized egg is implanted.
Keep in mind, some tests say they can be used before your missed period and others a few days after, but for best results, we recommend waiting 7 days after your missed period. Just be sure to take the test first thing in the morning to ensure you are using a concentrated sample.
Don’t forget: home pregnancy tests, aka HPTs, may not work if they are expired, or if you don’t follow the instructions. Before you take your test, remember to check the expiration date and make sure you understand and follow the instructions.
What if I get a negative pregnancy test result?
If you get a negative test result, but still believe you may be pregnant, wait a few days and take another test. If you are still experiencing signs of pregnancy after a second negative test result and your period hasn’t returned, give us a call at (855) SAY-CARA or schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
What if you find out you are pregnant?
If your home pregnancy test is positive, you may know right away what option is right for you. But if you don’t, that’s ok. Some people need to take more time to carefully weigh their options of abortion, adoption or parenting a child. If you find you need to talk more about your options, there are several nonjudgemental resources we recommend such as All Options, an organization dedicated to peer counseling and support.
A final consideration. There are a number of Crisis Pregnancy Centers out there that pretend to be abortion clinics. They use deceptive marketing tactics, very religious themes, and often offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. These places are known to be aggressive in trying to persuade people to not have an abortion – often through shame and judgment. If you’re unsure if the place you are calling is legitimate, always ask what services a clinic offers and make sure you feel comfortable before disclosing your personal information. Here’s a little more information about Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
I missed my period and I don’t want to be pregnant.
Ok, we can help. First and foremost, take a deep breath and know you are not alone. Abortion is a common thing that 1 in 4 people will experience in their reproductive lifetime. It’s a good idea to get as much information as soon as possible about your options. Calling carafem is a great place to start.
Our staff will often start the call by asking if you know the day your last period started. This is how we can date how far along you are in your pregnancy so we can provide you with abortion options specific to your needs. You can also access our website for information about choosing the abortion pill vs. an in-office abortion procedure.
carafem is also involved in some research opportunities that may allow us to provide a very early pregnancy termination to you or even to mail abortion medications to you if you live in a qualifying state. Please visit the TelAbortion page if you live in Georgia or the Missed Period Pill Study page if you live in Maryland.
Abortion Information You Can Trust
carafem medical standards and guidelines have been composed and approved by Board-certified Ob/Gyn Physicians as part of the carafem medical committee. Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page, or call us at (877) 708-5064, or find a location near you.