Today I am four days away from our scheduled beta test. I am very open about our infertility struggles (both on my blog and my everyday life). People often ask me if I have tested yet. I thought I would share my thoughts on why I never test early. This post (or any post I write) is not created to give advice to others or criticize how other people handle this process. Different things work for different people. I am just explaining why I choose not to test.
The first (and least important) reason I do not test is due to cost. While they do not cost much, it adds up (especially if I purchased several of them).
Different pregnancy tests do have different sensitivity levels, but in general, data indicate that pregnant women who test early often get false positive results. Additionally, other sources state that about 25% of pregnant women will test positive two days before their missed period and 40% will test positive the day before.
I actually would not take a hpt test until a week after my period. I know that might sound crazy. I will say that even though I would not test, I would still take all precautions as if I was pregnant. A study in 2011 indicated that many pregnancy tests elevate their accuracy claims. They ultimately conclude that waiting a week after your missed period will ensure the most accurate results I have included the citation of this study and I am happy to share it via email and explain the methodology if anyone is interested 🙂
Cole, LA. “The Utility of Six Over-the-Counter (home) Pregnancy Tests.” Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine : Cclm / Fescc. 49.8 (2011): 1317-22
This is the big one. I know that there is no point (especially during the first trimester) where a woman is guaranteed to carry the pregnancy to full term. Even so, the chance of early miscarriage (also known as a chemical pregnancy) are noteworthy. When a conception implants and results in a clinically recognizable pregnancy, 31% end in miscarriage (source). Some women do want to know they are pregnant even if they end up losing it early. I totally respect that. For me though, I would rather not go through that. During the last four years, I have had 2 instances where I got up to a week late. I experienced several pregnancy symptoms. In both cases, when I did get my period, it was heavy and painful. It is likely that I had a chemical pregnancy but I think it would have been worse if I had tested positive at the beginning.
Infertility has been a big part of my life over the last four years. This may sound strange but I feel like I have gotten good at it. I want nothing more than to have a child but the idea still scares me. I worry I do not know enough to be good at being pregnant. I am scared of messing up. I am also not sure what kind of parent I would be.
So there it is. I am interested to see what people say about all of this. It is ok to think I am a little nuts 🙂 – Jennie