Am I really pregnant?

Today, we continue our discussion of real questions asked by real Ohio State students.  If you’ve had similar questions or experiences, please post a comment and share!

Q: How long after a missed period should I wait to take a pregnancy test?

A: Many home pregnancy tests claim that they are accurate on the day of your missed period, but here’s the real deal – the pregnancy hormone that the test checks for doesn’t become detectable in the urine until about 2 weeks after conception.  So the date of your last period isn’t nearly as important as the date you last had sex.  To get the most accurate result, you should take the test 2 weeks after that date.

The most common error with home pregnancy tests is a false negative result that occurs because the test was performed too early.  But it’s also important to remember that taking a home pregancy test is always a stressful event (no matter which result you’re hoping for) and that emotional pressure can make it difficult to perform and interpret the test correctly.  If you have any doubt about the results, you should make an appointment with your women’s health care provider to confirm the results.  

While pregnancy is the most common cause of missed periods, there are many others including: rapid weight changes, eating disorders, extreme exercise, high levels of emotional stress, illness and hormonal abnormalities.  The health care providers in our Women’s Services have years of experience guiding women through the evaluation of this issue and are available right here on campus to help you.  You can make an appointment with them by calling 614-292-4321.

Beth Askue, CNP – Ohio State Student Health Services

Adam Brandeberry, Med 4 – The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health