Starting a family is without a doubt one of life’s most major events. It means taking on a whole new level of commitment and responsibility. It also means starting what could be the most joyous chapter of your life. Because your future can follow a path that you perhaps have never before followed, it is important that you know without a hint of doubt whether or not you could be pregnant. You can get your first clue and decide whether or not to go to your doctor for more conclusive testing by taking a home pregnancy test first.
Home pregnancy tests come in a variety of forms today. You could try any of the do-it-yourself methods which involve adding urine to dandelion leaves or bleach and then awaiting a tell-tale chemical reaction. You could also use one of the many varieties of over-the-counter pregnancy testing kits sold at most retail and discount stores. People who want the most conclusive answer possible without going to the doctor often prefer to use the commercial pregnancy testing kits rather than any DIY variety. They believe that these kits are far more scientific and reliable than home remedies. Regardless of which method you choose, your primary goal may be to ensure that you get a positive pregnancy test if you are for sure pregnant.
If you use the over-the-counter variety of test, your positive indication will come in the form of either a plus sign or two blue or pink lines in the indicator window. If you use a digital test, the indicator window will say the word “positive” or “negative.” These tests are within a 99 percent accuracy rate and are often regarded by doctors as confirmation of an early pregnancy. In fact, some medical clinics use these tests to confirm a pregnancy even before a doctor orders a blood test or an ultrasound. After you get a positive test result, you should then make plans to see your own doctor immediately for further testing. Your doctor can begin your prenatal care and monitor you for any signs of troubles like miscarriage or high blood pressure.
What To Do After A Positive Pregnancy Test?
After you get a positive pregnancy test result, you may wonder what you should do to safeguard your health and that of your unborn child. First, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor or your obstetrician to confirm that you are in fact pregnant. Your doctor will confirm your pregnancy by ordering a blood test, which will reveal how much hCG pregnancy hormone is in your blood and how many weeks into your pregnancy you have progressed. A blood pregnancy test will also indicate if you have any health conditions like anemia that need to be addressed now to ensure your pregnancy can be carried to term.
You also would do well to stop taking any medications for which you do not need for your everyday health. If you are taking medications that contain aspirin, for example, you should stop taking them because aspirin can cause birth defects. You may switch to another pain reliever like acetaminophen. Likewise, if you smoke or drink alcohol or caffeine, you would do well to cut those habits out of your daily routine. Smoking and drinking alcohol can cause significant birth defects. Caffeine can stunt your baby’s growth and also up your risk of having a miscarriage.
Along with halting the use of medications and consuming alcohol and tobacco, you also may consider adding a prenatal vitamin to your daily regimen. Prenatal vitamins contain high amounts of nutrients like folate and iron that promote a healthy pregnancy and brain development in your unborn child. If the prenatal vitamin makes you nauseous, you should take it with food like saltine crackers or dry toast. These precautionary steps can ensure that you make it into your second trimester and that your pregnancy gets off to the healthiest start possible.
Earliest Positive Pregnancy Test?
Ensuring the best start of your pregnancy can involve taking a pregnancy test and getting a positive result as soon as possible. Most standard over-the-counter pregnancy tests require that you hold off testing until you miss the first day of your scheduled period. Some tests work even better if you hold off testing until you are a week late. However, other tests can be used even before you miss your period. Some are so sensitive to the presence of hCG that they can be used as soon as 11 days after conception takes place. That means that if you have a normal 28-day cycle that you can test up to three days prior to missing your period. If you know when your period should start this month, you can test about three days before that date.
If you do not have a regular cycle, however, you may have to watch for clues from your body before you miss a period and want to test. Some of the earliest signs of pregnancy include fatigue and congestion. Fatigue occurs because your body is working harder to sustain the pregnancy. It focuses its energy on your developing child first and your own health second. Congestion occurs because the blood in your body is circulating more intensely and causes the lining in your nasal passage to thicken. Many women find pregnancy-related congestion to be very annoying. As annoying as it is, you should not attempt to treat it with over-the-counter medications because of the risk the medicines could pose to your baby. You should instead use home remedies like vapor and steam, as well as saline water to reduce the swelling in your sinuses.
Another clue that may prompt you to test early involves the appearance of your breasts and abdomen. Many women develop dark or blue lines on their breasts and dark lines down the center of their stomachs. If you have these markings, you may test for early pregnancy and then act accordingly if the test comes back positive.