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Am I pregnant?

A doctor examining a woman

Pregnancy tests can sometimes produce 'false negative' results.

Signs of pregnancy

The most obvious sign that you may be pregnant is when you miss your period. However, if you have irregular periods it may be difficult to tell when this has happened.

Also, women can miss periods for other reasons, such as stress or weight changes.


Other signs of pregnancy include:

  • feeling sick or nauseous
  • getting a metallic taste in your mouth
  • sore breasts
  • suddenly starting to feel tired
  • needing to urinate more often
  • an increased amount of vaginal discharge.

The only way to know for sure is to get a reliable pregnancy test.


Pregnancy testing

If you think you may be pregnant it is important to take a pregnancy test to find out for sure as soon as possible.

This is because the sooner you find out, the more time you will have to consider your options take care of your health.

You can get a free pregnancy test at:

  • GP surgeries
  • sexual health clinics
  • young person’s clinics

Alternatively you can buy home pregnancy test kits from a chemist, which costs approximately £5. Make sure you buy your pregnancy test kit form a reliable place, as not all kits are as good as each other, the most reliable kits are CE marked.


When to do the pregnancy test?

It is recommended to take a pregnancy test three weeks after you have had unprotected sex, as this is usually how long it takes for the level of hormones the test looks for to be high enough to be detected.

Or, if you are unsure when that was, you can take a test on the first day of your missed period.


How reliable is a pregnancy test?

It is possible to have a ‘false negative’ result.

This means that the test comes back negative, when, in fact, you are actually pregnant.

This might happen if you do the test too soon, before there are enough pregnancy hormones in your body to show up on the test.

If your period still doesn’t come, it is best to check in with your GP or a sexual health clinic to find out what is going on.

If have a positive pregnancy test, it is important to learn more about your options, and what you can do next.


Further information:

You may find these websites helpful:

 

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The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 24/8/2015 by T. Kelaart

Date due for the next review: 23/8/2018

Content Author: M. Tyson

Current Owner: Clinical services

More information:

Periods: if you've missed one, BBC Advice (2012)

Am I pregnant?, NHS Choices (2013)

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