If you think you might be pregnant you can take a home pregnancy test or visit a health care provider. Knowing when you had your last period will help to determine when a test will be correct and how far along you are if the test is positive.
Most home pregnancy tests will be accurate after you have missed your period. Taking a pregnancy test too early (such as before you expect your period), can give a false negative result (meaning you think you are not pregnant when you are). If your home pregnancy test results are positive, you can visit a health care provider to discuss your options. They may perform additional tests to confirm your pregnancy.
How does a urine pregnancy test work?
The pregnancy test looks for the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) in your urine. The test is about 97-99% accurate, and takes less than 5 minutes. The hormone is highest in the first urine you pass in the morning. The test is not affected by using birth control pills, the patch or the ring.
What if I’m pregnant?
If you’re pregnant, you can visit a clinic (such as an Options for Sexual Health Clinic), or a primary care clinic to talk about your options. You can have a support person with you like your partner, a friend or your parents if you wish. The options are:
- continue the pregnancy and become a parent
- continue the pregnancy and choose to adopt
- stop the pregnancy by having an abortion
Health care providers can also refer you to the services you need such as finding a care provider for prenatal care, adoption agencies or abortion services in your area. It is important to be aware that some agencies will not provide you with all the information about your options or refer you to services about abortion, you can check this by asking them before visiting.
How can you calculate how long you have been pregnant?
Conception takes place around the time of when the egg is released from the ovary (ovulation). Ovulation takes place about half way through the menstrual cycle, on about the 14th day (the first day of bleeding is counted as day 1). The beginning of a pregnancy is calculated from the first day of the last period; a term pregnancy will last approximately 40 weeks.
There are many online calculators who can help you to figure this out such as this calculator from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.