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When You Have a Positive Pregnancy Test

Whether you used a Clear Blue Easy, EPT, Equate, Wondfo or First Response pregnancy test, the signs of a pregnancy can be unmistakable. Many of these tests are designed to be positive before you miss your first menstrual period so you know very early that you are pregnant. You’re not even late yet and you have no symptoms but the test says that it’s not fake and the signs of pregnancy will come soon. You may only be 7DPO (seven days post-ovulation), 8DPO, 9DPO or 10 DPO.

This is really early to find out you are pregnant and there is a high risk of false negatives or the start of pregnancies that terminate even before the period is missed. Nevertheless, the push is for women to find out earlier and earlier in their cycle. This sets some women up for failure because they actually don’t have viable pregnancies but there is enough HCG around to make a positive pregnancy test. The bleeding will start at around the same time as a regular period so, without the test, you would have no idea you were briefly pregnant. You have the positive test and then the period happens. In a sense, you’ve had a positive pregnancy test but not pregnant. For all practical purposes, you never had a missed period. If you take one of these early tests and you see a thin positive line, it may just mean you are barely pregnant. Try taking the test again in a few days to see if the line becomes more obvious and robust. Then you can be rest assured that you are probably really pregnant.

Whether you used a Clear Blue Easy, EPT, Equate, Wondfo or First Response pregnancy test, the signs of a pregnancy can be unmistakable. Many of these tests are designed to be positive before you miss your first menstrual period so you know very early that you are pregnant. You’re not even late yet and you have no symptoms but the test says that it’s not fake and the signs of pregnancy will come soon. You may only be 7DPO (seven days post-ovulation), 8DPO, 9DPO or 10 DPO.

This is really early to find out you are pregnant and there is a high risk of false negatives or the start of pregnancies that terminate even before the period is missed. Nevertheless, the push is for women to find out earlier and earlier in their cycle. This sets some women up for failure because they actually don’t have viable pregnancies but there is enough HCG around to make a positive pregnancy test. The bleeding will start at around the same time as a regular period so, without the test, you would have no idea you were briefly pregnant. You have the positive test and then the period happens. In a sense, you’ve had a positive pregnancy test but not pregnant. For all practical purposes, you never had a missed period. If you take one of these early tests and you see a thin positive line, it may just mean you are barely pregnant. Try taking the test again in a few days to see if the line becomes more obvious and robust. Then you can be rest assured that you are probably really pregnant.

What a Positive Pregnancy Test Looks Like

Depending on the test, a positive pregnancy test can be a digital “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” indication, a double line on the test or a plus sign. Make sure you read the directions on the pregnancy test so you know what kind of response to get from your urine pregnancy test. If you get an equivocal response from the test, talk to your doctor about having a blood pregnancy test. For example, if the results show a thin faded line, you might not really believe it’s positive and you’ll want some other kind of confirmation that you are pregnant. That confirmation can come with a blood test you get at your doctor’s office, an ultrasound showing the developing embryo or the sound of a heartbeat heard on the heart rate monitor. As each passing day goes by without a period, you will have ongoing confirmation that you are pregnant and that the pregnancy is healthy.
Once you have that positive pregnancy test, you should begin to take prenatal vitamins with folate to protect the embryo’s neural tube. Some experts believe that you should begin taking prenatal vitamins with folate before you get pregnant in case you have an ongoing folate deficiency that needs correcting before you actually get pregnant. You shouldn’t start “eating for two” right away because the embryo actually needs very few calories and if you gain too much weight at the beginning of the pregnancy, you will have just that much more weight to lose after the baby is born. You may not have much of an appetite anyway if you are suffering from typical nausea and vomiting of early pregnancy.

Read also:

What to do with a faint positive Pregnancy Test

False Positive Pregnancy Tests

Pictures of Positive Pregnancy Tests

Early Pregnancy Tests, Pregnancy Tests after Miscarriage and Pregnancy Symptoms before a Positive Test

Pregnancy Test Positive: The Next Steps

If the urine pregnancy test is positive, you need to stop drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs. There are medications you may be taking that aren’t safe in pregnancy and you’ll need medical advice as to how to stop these medications without suffering side effects. You may expect some spotting and cramping as if you are having your period but it won’t usually yield frank bleeding and doesn’t mean you’re going to have a miscarriage. Often it’s just slight implantation bleeding that occurs when the zygote implants into the uterine wall. The bleeding can be delayed or happen during the period time when you would have had much heavier bleeding. If the bleeding becomes heavy or you have symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, seek medical care as this may mean the pregnancy is terminating itself.

Positive Pregnancy Test: Now What?

The positive pregnancy test is the beginning of a long nine-month journey toward motherhood. Your situation may be unique. You may have used the Plan B to stop a pregnancy and it failed. You may have undergone IVF and many days of waiting for some sign that you were pregnant. You may have weak pregnancy symptoms already or no symptoms at all. Strong pregnancy symptoms don’t tend to happen until much later in the first trimester, beginning at about the sixth-week gestation. The symptoms you experience may be classical: nausea, vomiting, bloating, breast tenderness and dizziness or you may have only a few of these symptoms. Every pregnancy is different and you just can’t predict what will happen. If you underwent IVF, you may be expecting multiple babies, depending on how many embryos were implanted and how many took inside the uterus. The pregnancy symptoms tend to be stronger when you have multiple gestations. Talk to your doctor about what you should eat and how you should take care of yourself if you have multiple gestations. People with a great many babies (greater than four), you might be offered the option of having a selective reduction of pregnancy in which one or more of the embryos are aborted in order to ensure the survival of the remaining embryos. You don’t have to do it but some doctors will make that recommendation anyway.

How to make a Pregnancy Test Positive

In some cases, a pregnancy might be highly wished for and anticipated. If it doesn’t come naturally, you can undergo reproductive procedures like IUI and IVF. You can also keep track of your ovulatory status using an ovulation test kit. When the test indicates that you’ve had an LH surge, it means you are ovulating and can become pregnant. You have to have sex during that time or undergo IUI. Then you need to wait until you have an ultra-sensitive HCG blood test or a less sensitive urine pregnancy test that will tell you that you are pregnant. The results can be barely positive in the first days after fertilization. This is why some fertility doctors do serial quantitative HCG levels to make sure the level is doubling every 48 hours. This indicates that the pregnancy is healthy and is progressing normally.

The best way to make a pregnancy test positive is to keep track of your ovulations. Besides taking an ovulation test kit, you can do basal body temperatures. This is when you take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed with an ultra-sensitive thermometer. Just before ovulation, you will have a slight dip in temperature followed by a larger rise in temperature that persists throughout the last fourteen days of the cycle. At that time, the temperature drops about a half degree and you have your period. If you are pregnant, the period will be missed and the temperature will stay elevated. The reasons for the elevation in temperature is that progesterone, made by the ovarian follicle causes the body temperature to rise at the time of ovulation. If you get pregnant, the progesterone level stays up and the temperature stays up. If you are not pregnant, the follicle ceases to make progesterone, which falls precipitously. You then get your period and the cycle starts all over again.

If you take birth control pills, the temperature will remain the same throughout the cycle and you will not ovulate. If, on the other hand, you have a uterus with an IUD, the hormonal milieu will be normal and you will still ovulate. The difference is that the uterine lining will not support a pregnancy and even if the egg is fertilized in the Fallopian tube and travels to the uterus, the IUD prevents any sort of implantation and a regular period is had instead. People have gotten pregnant with an IUD, however, they can be complicated pregnancies because the fetus is growing inside a uterus that also has a foreign body in it. This can lead to a risky pregnancy.

What Positive Pregnancy Tests Mean

A pregnancy test is a test for the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG, which is a hormone made only by the embryo and placenta. HCG can be measured and quantitated in the blood and will show up faster than a urine pregnancy test, which takes at least 9-11 days after ovulation to become detectable. Most pregnancy tests will be positive if the concentration of HCG is 25 mIU/ml in either the blood or the urine. Urine pregnancy tests should be done on a first morning specimen, when the urine is more concentrated and the level of HCG is higher. When women try to get a positive early pregnancy test on urine that is not the first morning specimen, the rate of false negatives is much higher and the test will have to be repeated in a couple of days to see if it turns positive. Women who are undergoing IVF often will have blood tests for HCG and will know very early on whether or not the IVF procedure worked. It still can be heartbreaking when the pregnancy does not survive in the first fourteen days after ovulation and she has a miscarriage at about the same time as when she would normally have her period.

Can there be a false positive pregnancy test?

If a woman has a molar pregnancy or has an HCG-secreting tumor, there can be a false positive pregnancy test. A molar pregnancy is really a tumor that is made from products of conception. No embryo grows and the tumor is more like a mass but it secretes HCG, giving a false positive pregnancy test. Molar pregnancies have to be removed surgically as they will continue to grow unchecked. Fortunately molar pregnancies and HCG-secreting tumors are extremely rare so that a positive pregnancy test is more likely than not to mean you have an embryo growing.

What does the pregnancy test look like in an ectopic pregnancy?

In the beginning, an ectopic pregnancy will have normal HCG levels and there will even be a positive urine test in most situations. As the pregnancy gets crowded out by the Fallopian tube, it begins to degenerate and less HCG is secreted. An ectopic pregnancy can be identified by stagnant or falling HCG levels, pain on one side of the pelvis or the other, spotting or frank bleeding and the absence of a viable fetus in the uterus as evaluated by ultrasound.

If the ectopic pregnancy is detected early enough, it can be degraded by using methotrexate. This has a good chance of keeping the Fallopian tube intact and patent for subsequent pregnancies. If the ectopic pregnancy is not detected early, it can grow through and rupture the Fallopian tube, necessitating emergency surgery in many cases to remove the Fallopian tube and the products of conception. The woman will have decreased fertility after that because there is only a 50: 50 chance that an egg will be available at the patent Fallopian tube. If the tube and ovary are removed at time of surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, then her fertility chances will be unchanged but she may suffer from earlier ovarian failure because she has only one ovary that will run out of eggs sooner than two ovaries would.

What does the pregnancy test look like in a multiple gestation?

The multiple gestation pregnancy will have twice as much HCG floating around (if there are twins) or even more than that if there are triplets or more. There will be a large increase HCG and a greater chance of having strong pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. Sometimes a multiple gestation can be picked up by doing a quantitative HCG test but, because HCG levels can be so different from one pregnancy to another, the only reliable way to detect a multiple gestation pregnancy is to do a vaginal ultrasound early in the pregnancy. At that time there will be more than one growing embryo with a single or more placentas. Identical twins tend to live off the same placenta and in the same amniotic sac. Fraternal twins have their own amniotic sac and their own placenta which can fuse later in the pregnancy to form what looks like a single placenta but will have a line of demarcation showing that the two placentas fused.

It is important to detect a multiple gestation early in the pregnancy because there can be complications like preterm labor and preeclampsia that are greater in multiple gestations. Identical twins can have a problem called twin-twin transfusion syndrome in which one twin steals blood from the other twin. One twin, therefore, grows bigger while the other is starved of nutrients. At some point, the problem will become so pronounced that the twins must be delivered early by Cesarean section. This allows the small twin to catch up to the bigger twin. Ironically, the smaller twin has a better chance of survival than the bigger twin when they are delivered prematurely.

Which pregnancy test should you use?

Pregnancy tests differ in the level of HCG required for a positive test. Older tests required a level of 50 mIU/ml in the urine in order to become positive. It usually meant you had to miss your period before the test would become positive. Now tests can detect HCG levels as low as 25 mIU/ml. These tests can actually tell you that you are pregnant days before your missed period. There is a higher risk of false negatives with these ultra-sensitive tests but in general, women find out earlier that they are pregnant. The blood test for pregnancy also measures HCG and is even more sensitive than a urine test. Blood tests for pregnancy are not often done unless a woman has undergone IVF or believes she has had a false negative pregnancy test

As mentioned, there are wide variations in HCG levels from pregnancy to pregnancy and a low HCG level does not mean you are destined to have a miscarriage as long as the HCG level continues to double every forty-eight hours. This means that two tests are required to confirm a healthy pregnancy. The woman can also have a transvaginal ultrasound, which is very sensitive in picking up the presence of the developing embryo at about the time of the missed period. Dating is very accurate at this stage of the pregnancy and the due date can be calculated within a couple of days either way. If the ultrasound is done later, there are greater variations in fetal size so that second and third trimester ultrasounds are poor at dating the gestational age of the fetus. There can be bigger babies that aren’t as developmentally advanced as smaller babies. This is why early dating is so important.

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