Whether you are trying to conceive or not, the moment you see the double line on a pregnancy test, or the positive pregnancy test result on any at-home test, a lot changes for you.
It’s a time of overwhelming emotions. Happiness, fear, excitement, and perhaps even sadness; this whirlwind strikes, and it can be hard to think logically.
Knowing what needs to be done after seeing a positive test can be challenging.
In this article, we’ll talk about all of the precautions to be taken after positive pregnancy test and when to call the doctor. We will also discuss how to go about trying to ensure a healthy pregnancy and when to consider announcing the pregnancy.
At-home pregnancy tests
Only a blood test can guarantee you absolutely clear results when determining whether or not you are pregnant, especially at the very beginning of pregnancy. At-home tests for pregnancy are made to pick up elevated HCG levels in your urine, but they are not without issue.
False positive pregnancy tests
Only a blood pregnancy test ordered by a doctor can remove the margin of error you can get from a positive home test.
Depending upon where you are in your cycle, your hormones, when you last had a baby, and when your last period was, pregnancy tests that you can buy from the store and take at home are less accurate.
The likelihood of false positive results is rare but does occur. When this does happen, it is often due to user error.
A faint line on a pregnancy test can make you think it’s a positive test when it could just be the evaporation line. That is why you must follow the directions to the letter on these tests.
Not waiting long enough to read the results, not administering the tests correctly, or taking the test too soon can give you a false positive or false negative result.
Fertility treatments and the plus sign
If you have a positive test at home and are under fertility treatment, you must make an early appointment to see your doctor. Not only for your and the baby’s health but also to establish that you are indeed pregnant.
For some women, the trigger shot of HCG given during fertility treatments can cause a woman’s test to display as positive, even though she is not yet pregnant.
When should I take an at-home test?
Whether this pregnancy is one you’ve been trying for or unplanned, you should take a pregnancy test if you have experienced a missed period or are experiencing pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, tiredness, enlarged or sore breasts, or food aversions.
Pregnancy symptoms can mimic symptoms of a cold or flu. The test can help you determine if you are pregnant or simply experiencing illness or symptoms of various medical conditions.
Make sure you read the directions carefully and check the expiration date on your pregnancy test.
How accurate is an at-home pregnancy test?
Experts in reproductive endocrinology, as well as peer-reviewed studies and online resources, all tend to agree that most home tests are incredibly accurate. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on fancy ones, either.
They all work in the same manner and are accurate to a large degree when taken correctly. Don’t determine that it must not be true because you have taken an inexpensive test and got a positive result.
Science has come a long way, as have at-home testing methods.
Precautions to be taken after positive pregnancy test
So you’ve taken a pregnancy test and are sitting in your bathroom holding a positive test. Knowing what you need to do at this point is somewhat overwhelming.
First off, regardless of whether you intend to become pregnant or not, take a deep breath and give those initial thoughts and emotions a few minutes to gather, swell, and subside. Nothing productive will come from panicking.
The following are some precautions you need to take after that pregnancy test has told you that your life is about to change in a major way.
1. What to stop doing
To prevent possible early pregnancy loss, you need to stop smoking. Do not drink alcohol or do drugs until after your initial visit to the doctor.
While you should not engage in drug use, and we all know that smoking is not good for anyone, it’s especially unsuitable for pregnant women.
These life changes need to start immediately.
In most planned pregnancies, these habits have already been stopped, but sometimes these results are a complete surprise.
Regardless of your situation, it’s best to put the bottle and the cigarettes down until you have your first appointment and have spoken with a healthcare provider regarding your care.
2. When to visit the doctor after a positive pregnancy test
The first thing you need to do after getting a positive pregnancy test result is to call your doctor. Your pregnancy needs to be confirmed, and prenatal care needs to be established.
You can call your regular doctor if you do not have an obstetrician or gynecologist. This physician can refer you to a specialist and order a blood test to confirm the pregnancy.
If you have an established OB/GYN, call them and tell them that you took a pregnancy test at home, and the home test was positive.
You do not need to keep the positive test you took to show the doctor. Tests will be ordered to establish the pregnancy without it.
3. What to take note of before you visit your doctor
When you call to make an appointment to see a doctor, they will ask you when your last menstrual period was. Having this date handy and the positive result of the pregnancy test will help them figure out an estimated due date.
While this is just an estimate, for now, it will help them to set you up with an appropriately scheduled date to visit.
The pregnancy hormone, HCG, will need to be present, and they prefer it to be at a certain level before they see you. For many women, this means waiting until it’s estimated that you are six to eight weeks into the first trimester of a pregnancy before you see the doctor.
This means waiting a few weeks before you’re seen in the office.
4. What prenatal vitamins to take
Even on the phone while making the appointment, you may be advised to start taking prenatal vitamins. This is because today’s digital pregnancy tests, pink and blue dye tests, and most pregnancy tests in general, are very accurate.
Prenatal care should immediately start if you want your best chances of having a healthy baby, and the first trimester sees some of the most significant development of the entire pregnancy.
Even though most home pregnancy tests are accurate, no harm will come to you if the positive result you saw on that test was wrong and you’ve started taking vitamins.
Folic acid is essential to the development of the baby. It can help prevent congenital disabilities, neural tube defects that can result in lifelong health issues for your baby, and a horrifying postpartum period for the mother.
Folic acid is found in most prenatal vitamin variations that you can purchase at the store, and it is vital during early pregnancy. Get some vitamins as soon as possible, and take them as directed.
5. What happens at your in-person appointment
A pregnancy test works in much the same way that the test your doctor will administer works.
Most tests look for elevated HCG levels in the urine. You will be given a urine or blood test to confirm the pregnancy at your first prenatal appointment.
Your OB/GYN will get your health background, your family’s health history, and your spouse’s or partner’s family and will help you figure out when your due date is.
Many moms-to-be can be easily overwhelmed by all the information you’ll be given at that first appointment, so it’s a good idea to take your partner with you.
If you have not yet told your significant other, or there isn’t one in the picture, consider taking a close friend or relative you can trust.
6. When to tell people you’re pregnant
This is something that only you can decide.
There are a lot of factors and unique situations that occur when you find out that you’re expecting. You should certainly tell your healthcare provider or OB/GYN as soon as possible, but knowing the best time to tell everyone else in your life is a tad more complicated.
Miscarriage and complications in the first trimester
Suppose you have just found out that you’re pregnant. A lot of women find themselves in need of telling someone. However, depending upon your situation, you may feel reluctant to do so.
Many parents who have experienced pregnancy loss through miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy are often far less eager to share the news with everyone they know when they find out they are pregnant.
The same can be said of women who were not expecting or hoping to be pregnant or some women with chronic health conditions that may put them in the high-risk category of pregnancy.
While the chances of a miscarriage are relatively low, they occur in approximately 11-16 percent of pregnancies. It is far more likely to happen in the first trimester than in the second or third trimester.
For this reason, many women keep the news to themselves until much later in the pregnancy.
Sharing baby news
Sometimes a woman will shout it from the rooftops, post it on social media, and tell her friends and family she’s expecting the moment she sees the at-home test results. Other women wait.
Other women only tell their partner and then wait to share the news with the rest of the world until they deliver the baby.
There is no right or wrong way of doing it. The only person you have to tell is your physician. The rest of it is entirely up to you.
Your positive pregnancy test
Whether this was something you wanted or not, you need to take care of yourself. This encompasses more than your physical health. Having someone to talk to, having support, and being calm and hopeful are imperative to having good overall health.
Trust your physicians, stop smoking and drinking, get better sleep, start eating better, and take vitamins. Try not to get stressed unnecessarily, and give yourself time to process the news.
You are strong; you are capable. Everything will be okay!