Every mother can recall the moment when she found out she was pregnant. However, at the initial sign of a late period, the first place most women run to is not their doctor — it’s their pharmacy, to purchase a home pregnancy test. Years ago, at-home pregnancy tests were confusing. Did you need to see two lines? What if one was faint? Were you pregnant? What if two appeared ever so slightly to make themselves known? Or were you really just imagining it, because you wanted it so badly?
Lindsay Young from Tribeca remembers when she first suspected she was pregnant.
“I was only a few days late, but I was so excited to start a family. I bought a test and the results were so confusing, I honestly had no idea if I was pregnant or not after taking it. So I bought another the next day, and it said I was not pregnant. No little line ever showed up. But a week later, still no period, so I bought another that said a plus sign would indicate a pregnancy. I received a minus sign.”
Disappointed, Young says she spent $50 dollars with all the tests and none ever showed a positive result.
“Over those three weeks, while I waited for a doctor’s visit, I thought I had a really severe case of premenstrual syndrome and emotional mood swings, until they took a blood test at my midwife’s office that confirmed I was actually pregnant!”
Today, more pregnancy tests take the guesswork out of the big question: am I pregnant? Once you discover the answer and find out that you do indeed have a baby on the way, the next question is almost always, how far along am I? It would be so nice to know how many weeks pregnant you might be during the anxious days between a positive pregnancy test and a doctor’s visit. Now one manufacturer is making that possible.
ClearBlue, a company that has offered pregnancy tests for years, has recently unveiled its newest product, the Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator. It is the only at-home test available that offers a newly pregnant woman an estimate on how many weeks pregnant she may be by measuring the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone in the urine at the time of the test. It is 99 percent accurate in confirming a pregnancy and 93 percent accurate in determining how many weeks pregnant. The results show one of the following choices: Not Pregnant; Pregnant 1–2; Pregnant 2–3; Pregnant 3+.
Dr. Rebecca Brightman, Clinical Instructor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an OB-GYN in private practice in New York City, explains that knowing how far along a woman is in her pregnancy provides valuable benefits.
“This test takes two measurements instead of one, giving women two essential answers and more information. The additional information provided helps patients before the very first appointment. Based on test results, and how far along the patient is, that information will be helpful to me as an OB-GYN when interacting and treating patients.”
This is especially helpful for women who have irregular periods and inconsistent cycles because in these women, the typical calendar tracking method of determining a pregnancy may be faulty. Dr. Brightman notes that this test is no replacement for a doctor’s visit, but rather something you would do before you can see the doctor or midwife.
“Like all home pregnancy tests, results should be confirmed by a doctor, especially when making decisions about future prenatal care. Always consult a doctor if you suspect you are pregnant and to confirm, date, and monitor pregnancy.”
Danielle Sullivan, a mom of three, has worked as a writer and editor in the parenting world for more than 10 years. Sullivan also writes about pets and parenting for Disney’s Babble.com. Find Danielle on her blog, Some Puppy To Love.
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