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The time between taking a pregnancy test and finding out the result seems like an eternity. Those precious moments are full of nervousness and excitement for a couple trying to get pregnant. And when you finally see that it is positive, containing the joy of being parents is ineffable. For a few days, you have no idea how to react, how to behave or what to do. You will also wonder if the test was true or not. These moments of doubts are common.
A missed period always alerts women as it could be a sign that they might be pregnant. However, some may get early pregnancy symptoms, such as bleeding, that occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus wall, called implantation bleeding. Whenever you suspect you are pregnant, you can take a pregnancy test.
What is Positive Pregnancy Test
Most of the time, a positive pregnancy result means that you are pregnant. Your urine needs to have a certain amount of the Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) in order to confirm your pregnancy. The hCG hormone is released eight to ten days after conception after the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterus wall. From here on, the levels of hormone will increase at a steady pace throughout the next few months.
In the medical field, hCG levels less than 5mlU/ml are considered negative, and hCG levels higher than 25mlU/ml are considered to be positive for pregnancy. Some pregnancy tests are sensitive and will be able to detect pregnancy when the hCG levels reach 15mlU/ml, while others are less sensitive and will only be able to detect pregnancy if the hCG hormone levels reach above 25mlU/ml.
How to Be Sure If the Pregnancy Test is Really Positive
The expiry period for a pregnancy test is around ten minutes, after which, there may be a chance that you might take the evaporation line for a positive. This is something that leads to a fake positive pregnancy test result. Any medication that may raise the level of the hCG hormone in the body, including some fertility drugs, may also cause a false positive result. Even manufacturing defects in the kit itself could result in the wrong result, though it happens rarely.
Twenty-five to fifty percent of eggs that are fertilized don’t make it through the first few weeks of pregnancy and around fifteen percent of women who get a positive pregnancy test result end up having miscarriages within this time period.
It is best to wait to take the pregnancy test until you have missed your period. This way you can be certain that if it is positive and the chances of the pregnancy resulting in a miscarriage are lower.
What If the Positive Pregnancy Test Shows a Faint Line
It is possible to be pregnant, even if there is a faint line on the pregnancy test. The main reason your pregnancy test may be showing a faint line instead of a bold one is due to the low levels of the hCG hormone in your body. However, you need not concern yourself, as everyone has different hormone levels. Even normal pregnancies can result in low hCG levels, and the best thing to do is to see how things go as your pregnancy progresses. Take another test and see the result. The line will be much bolder later.
If you did not take the first test in the morning, you could always take it again the next day. It is suggested to take the pregnancy test from your first urine in the morning, as your hormone levels are highest at that time and thus the chances of an accurate result are more.
Sometimes the faint line may not be a positive result, but an evaporation line. This line appears when the urine is evaporating from the stick and not because you are pregnant.
What to Do after a Positive Pregnancy Test
So you have a positive pregnancy test, you must be extremely happy, but what do you do next? There is so much to do once you find out that you are pregnant. And if you are going to be parents for the first time, you will be freaking out. So, here are a few suggestions for you that you must follow once you find about your pregnancy:
1. Doctor’s Appointment
Most women do not visit a doctor until they are at least eight weeks pregnant. But scheduling an appointment with a doctor is a good way to start your pregnancy. There will be a lot of appointments for you to keep for the next year of your life.
2. Find Out Your Due Date
The progress in pregnancy is calculated from the first day of the last period. However, it is hard to find the exact date when you ovulated and conceived. The first day of your last menstrual period is counted as day one of your pregnancy. But if you want to know an accurate due date, consult with your doctor.
3. Type of a Care Provider
You can decide whether you want to go ahead with treatment by an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist (OB/GYN) or if you would want to enlist the help of a midwife. Those who expect a risk in pregnancy and those who would want the use of an epidural should opt for an OB/GYN, but those who are expecting a normal to low-risk delivery can opt for a midwife. A midwife may even help you deliver your child at home. Midwives are allowed to request the use of the same ultrasounds and labs as an OB/GYN.
While the choices are there, there are some practices that even work side by side with midwives, making it easier for you. With the midwife taking the head and the OB/GYN providing any support needed, you can have a smooth delivery.
4. Research What to Expect
The nine months of pregnancy won’t be easy for you. Your body will change, you will experience a lot of unwanted changes in your skin too; constipation, swollen feet, frequent urination will be common. And all in all, you will be tired. Not knowing why it happening or when it will end will exhaust you even more. Therefore, it is better to stay informed. Read up on pregnancy-related literature to keep yourself informed. Your body will be the place where your baby grows, and so your hormones will change in order to nurture your baby, providing the ideal environment for it to grow. All this will be new to you, so you must read everything about pregnancy to stay assured that all these things are normal in pregnancy.
5. Eat Healthy Food
You must be well aware by now that drinking alcohol is to be strictly avoided during pregnancy and you must have given it up too. But that alone won’t help. You must start eating healthy food to develop in order to make sure your child develops to the best of his ability. It is important to start taking prenatal vitamins as your baby will get nutrition from your body. Your diet should be healthy. Though you will have cravings, you need to have some control, opting for healthier snack options rather than having potato chips or pizzas. Gaining too much weight is not good. Talk to a dietician if you want a healthy diet plan for pregnancy.
6. Start Pregnancy Safe Exercises
While you may not be able to stick to your regular workout schedule, you can always start one that is safe to do during pregnancy. If you don’t exercise frequently, now would be the good time to start. It is imperative to keep your body healthy and strong, as a fit body will make your labour much easier. Walking and swimming are the two best workouts for pregnant women.
7. Start Saving
Raising a baby can be expensive so it is sensible to saving money. In the beginning, you will have to pay for the hospital bills, next you will need to shop for the baby, new maternity clothes, and things to childproof your home. You will need to keep your child’s education in mind and start saving for that as well. And the list will increase as your child comes into this world. So, it is important that you and your partner sit down together and discuss a good saving plan and a way to budget your money.
Pregnancy can be exciting and confusing at the same time as it is a time filled with many changes. You will feel this more if you are a first-time mother, but the experience is precious no matter if it is your first or third child. Your body will go through many changes, so find yourself a trusted doctor or a midwife, or someone you feel comfortable talking to about all the things you are experiencing. Never hesitate to ask people for help if you feel something is wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Also Read: False Negative Pregnancy Test