When to See Your Doctor for a Pregnancy Test
With the almost unlimited access one has these days to medical technology some forget that when it comes to pregnancy your doctor knows best. So at what point do you make an appointment for a pregnancy blood test? There are a few times when a blood test may be necessary or preferred:
Before you shout it to the skies, or tell your in-laws that a new bundle is on the way, you should first get a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. On rare occasions home pregnancy tests can give false positives, particularly if you are on certain types of medication. It’s always best to confirm your pregnancy before you make any drastic changes, like buying a crib!
Your home pregnancy test was negative, but you still haven’t got your period.
There are certain times when you may test negative for a pregnancy test, when you are in fact pregnant. One reason is that you test too early in the pregnancy, so there isn’t enough hCG in your system to trigger a positive result. Some medications can also mask the results, so if you are a week or more late on your period perhaps you should get your doctor to double-check.
You’ve had miscarriages in the past.
While you may be elated that you are pregnant, likely you are concerned whether the pregnancy will ‘take’ or not. The first thing anyone will tell you is that stressing about the pregnancy will certainly not help the pregnancy (which in turn will cause you to stress about stressing). A quantitative hCG blood test can check to see if the pregnancy is progressing normally, as the levels of hCG should double every few days for the first 12 or so weeks. This will require you to have two or more blood samples taken over several days. While not definitive, at the very least this can help ease some of the stress and tell you that so far your pregnancy looks fine.
You’ve experienced spotting during this pregnancy.
Implantation bleeding, when the egg burrows into the uterine lining, occurs fairly regularly, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t concerned that you are pregnant and bleeding. Like the above scenario a quantitative hCG blood test can let you know that everything looks normal thus far.
As a rule of thumb, any time you are concerned about your pregnancy (or lack of pregnancy) it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.