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Questions About Pregnancy Tests

Published: August 16, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Hello. I have been with my partner for 3 years and we are sexually active. We are stable and have our own home. I get my periods on the 3rd of every month. I have never had a late period before. I am 9 days late and I'm healthy so I didn't see why my period should not have come. I used a home pregnancy test (tesco own) and did it 5 days after late and the test read negative. Could I have tested to early or should I use another brand? I haven't had many pregnancy signs apart from swollen boobs , bloating , frequent urination and constipation.. When should I test again? And what would be the best test to use for an accurate result?
Signed: Questions About Pregnancy Tests

Dear Questions About Pregnancy Tests,

You can take a pregnancy test as soon as your period is late. Some tests even work a few days before a missed period, however, they are most effective once you have already missed your period. That said, if you took the test 5 days after missing your period and the test came back negative, it is unlikely you are pregnant. According to Planned Parenthood: Pregnancy tests are very accurate. Most pregnancy tests work 99 out of 100 times if used after a missed period. They can be less effective if taken too early, if you do not use it correctly, or if the expiration date on the pregnancy test has passed.

Late periods can result from things other than pregnancy such as stress, weight loss, intense exercising or diet. So there could be a variety of reasons as to why your period is late.

If you are concerned about your pregnancy test results, you could repeat a pregnancy test at home. Pregnancy tests are generally similar in efficacy – the most important thing is to read the directions in full to make sure you are using the test correctly. If you are very concerned about this, the best thing to do would be to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or gynecologist so that they can confirm the results of your pregnancy test and assess what may have contributed to your late period.

You did not mention whether or not you use birth control. If you do not use birth control, FX would suggest speaking to your primary care physician or gynecologist about the best birth control methods to help protect against unwanted pregnancies.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

FX would also recommend that you check out some of the links in our Resource of the Month, Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex to get information about how pregnancy happens, birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, pregnancy options and STDs.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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