Am I really pregnant?

If you suspect you are pregnant you can get a pregnancy test from a chemist or pharmacy or you can visit your GP.

Even if you are uncertain about being pregnant a visit with a GP may be useful so that you can discuss your concerns or be referred to other services. If you do not wish to be pregnant, visit our unplanned pregnancy section. This section will guide you through the first steps to take when you suspect you are pregnant. 

You can buy a home pregnancy test from your local pharmacy or chemist. 

To do the test you just have to wee on the test stick. With others you may have to dip a testing strip into a urine sample.

The way that the results are displayed can vary but it is usually fairly easy to follow. Some will show a pink or blue line on the test strip to tell you if you are pregnant, others reveal a plus or a minus sign (plus you are pregnant and minus you’re not).

The test works by measuring the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in your urine. Your body starts to produce the pregnancy hormone when the fertilised egg implants in your uterus. The pregnancy hormone can be detected in your urine from about six to fourteen days after fertilisation.

Most pregnancy tests are sensitive enough to detect the pregnancy hormone in your urine on the first day that your period is due.  If the test is negative but your period still doesn’t come you could try re-testing in a few days. If the test is positive it is most likely that you are pregnant. It will only be in very rare circumstances that you will get a positive result that is incorrect or false.

Your due date

The unborn baby spends around 38 weeks in the womb, but the average length of pregnancy (or gestation) is counted as 40 weeks. Pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last period, not the date of conception, which generally occurs two weeks later.

Some women are unsure of the date of their last period (perhaps due to period irregularities).  A baby is considered full-term if its birth falls between 37 and 42 weeks. If you have a regular 28-day cycle, a simple method to calculate when your baby is due is to add seven days to the date of the first day of your last period, then add nine months.

  • For example, if the first day of your last period was February 1
  • add seven days (February 8)
  • and then add nine months for a due date of November 8.

An ultrasound may be done if there is uncertainty about your dates.

When you have your first pregnancy appointment with a GP, obsetrician or midwife, they will help you to work out when your baby is due. 


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Disclaimer

The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.

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