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Will a pregnancy test work if I'm on the contraceptive pill?

Posted by Be Well

Will a pregnancy test work if I'm on the contraceptive pill?
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It is always advisable to take a pregnancy test if you think that you might be pregnant, regardless of the type of contraception that you have used in the past, or you are currently using.

Hormonal methods of contraception, such as the contraceptive pill, and contraceptive implants and injections, contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and they work by changing a woman's hormone balance. However, these hormones will not affect the result of a pregnancy test because they are not used to measure whether or not you are pregnant.

How pregnancy tests work

A pregnancy test only reacts to the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). However, if you are pregnant, this hormone will not be present in your urine or blood until 13-16 days after ovulation, which is around the time that you would normally get your period. Until this time has passed it will not be possible to see a positive result in a pregnancy test.

Urine tests require a certain level of HCG to be present in order to indicate a positive pregnancy result. Blood tests are more sensitive because they can detect a smaller amount of HCG, which means that pregnancies can be picked up earlier, usually between 6-8 days after ovulation.

You can have a blood test at your doctor but, before booking an appointment, it is recommended that you should first take a home urine test.

Human chorionic gonadotropin is sometimes used in fertility treatment, which could cause a false positive result (where the result shows as positive but is actually negative). You should wait 14 days after having fertility treatment before taking a pregnancy test.

A negative result

If you get a negative result after taking your pregnancy test, it can mean several different things. Firstly, it can mean that you are not pregnant, or that you have taken the test too early. Taking a test early is easily done because it can be difficult to work out the exact day that you begun ovulating. If you think that you may have taken the test too early, wait a few days before taking a second test or, alternatively, see your doctor for advice and possibly a blood test.

Negative results may also be due to the fact you have timed the test wrongly. For instance, if you collect a sample of your urine for testing and have not conducted the test within 15 minutes, it may affect the result. Home pregnancy tests can vary, so always carefully read the instructions before you do the test.

Drinking too much fluid before a test can also lead to your urine being diluted which can affect the levels of HCG in your sample. If you are in any doubt about your pregnancy test result, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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