When to do a pregnancy test?: You have a few days late in your period. Doubt settles: am I pregnant? To find out, do a pregnancy test. When and how? Which one to choose? The point with Elodie James, the midwife at the hospital Delafontaine.
The female cycle
Women have a 28-day ovarian cycle, consisting of three phases:
- The follicular phase of the 1 st to 14 the day of your cycle around. A matured follicle will expel an egg out of the ovary. This one will descend quietly towards the uterus.
- Ovulation: this is the time when the mature follicle has discharged an ovum outside the ovary. The ovulation phase lasts only 24 hours.
- Luteal phase: this is the last phase of the ovarian cycle. After ovulation, the follicle becomes what is called “the yellow body” and produces progesterone. The uterine mucosa (the endometrium) will then gorge itself with blood, to thicken and be able to accommodate the fetus. If there is no fertilization, the hormone level drops and the endometrium empties: these are the rules.
Namely: whether you have a long or short cycle, the luteal phase always lasts 14 days. An essential data to correctly calculate your ovulation date.
For women with a 28-day cycle, ovulation occurs 14 days after the first day of menstruation. However, some women have a longer period: 29, 30, 31 days … They do not ovulate 14 days after the first day of menstruation but 15, 16, 17 days later.
When to do a pregnancy test?
Are you 2 or 3 days late? You can do a urinary pregnancy test that highlights the rate of beta HCG (pregnancy hormone). Sold in pharmacies or, now also, in supermarkets, you realize it at home. It is best to do this with the first urine in the morning because they are more concentrated and contain a higher HCG beta level.
Is it negative? Do it again 3 or 4 days later in the absence of any rules. It is possible that some hormones contained in your urine are still too small to be detected. This is why sometimes you can have a negative pregnancy test and still be pregnant.
In general, it is better to wait a week for “delay” before performing the urine test.
If you are too keen to know if you are expecting a child, or if you already have a positive urine test, perform a blood test in the laboratory: it will confirm your pregnancy (from the first day of menstruation) and indicate Roughly since when you are pregnant. You can go to a non-prescription laboratory and ask for this exam. The test measures the plasma beta HCG levels, visible much earlier than the urinary HCG beta. You can have results the same day.
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When to consult?
There is no urgency to make an appointment with your gynecologist. You can do this during the first month of pregnancy. Your urine test is positive? If you wish to confirm your pregnancy, make an appointment with your doctor or midwife to prescribe a blood test to check the plasma beta HCG levels and interpret the results.
Is the rate low? He will then prescribe a second blood test to see if your pregnancy is evolutionary and determine his stage. The beta HCG level doubles in 48 hours. You will, therefore, be fixed on the condition of your pregnancy.
Are you pregnant? Congratulations! Your gynecologist or midwife will then give you other prescriptions to perform new blood tests. This is the beginning of a long series of medical appointments …
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