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Testing for pregnancy and working out a due date

By Debra Aspinall Subscribe to RSS | April 24th 2012 | Views:
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The emotions you feel when taking an early pregnancy test will depend entirely on whether the “p” word is involved. Namely is this a “planned” event?

For women who want to have a baby, taking an early pregnancy test is a big moment, possibly one you’ll share with your just-as-excited partner.

Testing for pregnancy is so easy these days. The over-the-counter kits come with a stick – you simply pee on the indicated end. Minutes later you know if you are pregnant or not.

But taking a test too soon can be a waste of money and give a false reading.

So when is the right time to take an early pregnancy test?

Basically home pregnancy tests detect the presence of the pregnancy hormone hCG (Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), in your urine.

Your body starts to produce hCG when a fertilised egg implants in your uterus and is secreted by the cells which will go on to form your baby's placenta. It can usually be detected in your urine from about six to 14 days after fertilisation.

The best early pregnancy test time is 12 – 14 days past ovulation, or just before you expect your period. At this point the egg should be nicely embedded and have started to produce the necessary hormones to turn the test positive.

If you can bear to wait until you’ve missed a period before taking an early pregnancy test then an accurate reading is pretty much guaranteed.

Once you have the positive result you have longed for then you’ll want to work out when your baby will be born.

Many good pregnancy and baby websites offer a due date calculator, which work out the date for you.

Simply type in the date of your last period and the usual length of your menstrual cycle and the due date calculator gives you a very special date to mark on your calendar.

But while it’s fun and useful to have an approximate date of arrival, always keep in mind that this is all it can be – an approximate date.

Fewer than 5 percent of babies actually arrive on the date they are due.

Even a date based on an ultrasound can be off by a week or more depending on the skill of the technician, the timing of the scan and the rate of growth of the baby.

So while scans may reassess a woman’s due date given by a due date calculator this date actually becomes less accurate as the pregnancy goes on and the growth rate of your baby fluctuates week by week.

Debra Aspinall - About Author:
Debra Aspinall is an experienced journalist and the editor and leading writer for the Emma’s Diary website, one of the UKs foremost pregnancy and baby websites. She writes on early pregnancy test, due date calculator, pregnancy week by week and etc. If you are searching for free baby stuff, please visit us at Emmasdiary.co.uk.

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