Let’s face it: everyone makes mistakes. There’s no shame in that, but if you are capable of getting pregnant and you’ve had sex with someone who’s capable of getting you pregnant, you may need to use a pregnancy test at some point in your life– even if you are super safe.
All forms of birth control still come with a risk, which is why we call them, “safer sex methods,” instead of, “safe sex methods.” Even condoms, like we sell here at Condom Depot, have a 2% failure rate, even when used perfectly, or a 10-15% risk when used typically (not the right size, not enough lube, past the expiration date, etc). Sometimes, things just happen and you may ask yourself if you to head to the store and pick up a pregnancy test.
Is it time for a pregnancy test?
We get a lot of queries from folks, especially young people who are concerned that they/their partner might be pregnant. The problem is that we are not a pee stick– as much as we can speculate based on behaviors and information, there’s really not any way for us to tell you, “Yes, you are TOTALLY pregnant,” or, “No, you really aren’t,” accurately. Everybody is different and each responds to pregnancy–and the worry of pregnancy–in its own way.
- You missed your period.
- You are showing symptoms of pregnancy, like breakthrough bleeding.
- Your previous method of birth control failed, whether due to your error or an accident.
- You took emergency contraception but don’t know if it worked.
- You use the pull-out/withdrawal method.
- You think you might be dealing with some reproductive control abuse from your partner, or you may have been stealthed.
If you’re at the point where you think you need to go online to seek advice, save yourself the grief. It’s time to take an actual pee-on-the-stick test. There’s no harm in taking a pregnancy test. If nothing else, it will give you peace of mind– or the chance to decide what you need to do next.
How-To Take The Test
I remember my first pregnancy scare. It was a real doozy– because it happened right after the first time I’d had sex. The condom had broken–it was a Trojan Thintensity which, while a great condom, didn’t fit my partner at all. Talk about full blown panic with a nice, tasty side of Catholic guilt! The cashier at CVS wished me good luck when I went in to buy the test. And to this day, I don’t know if she meant, “Good luck, I hope you’re pregnant,” or, “Good luck, I hope you aren’t.” Probably just, “Good luck! I hope you get the results you need to hear!” For that matter, I did.
- Buy a couple of tests. Sometimes, they have inconclusive results. That may seem crazy expensive, but a fertility expert friend of mine insists that cheapo is the way to go:
“The really expensive tests at the drug store are also expensive because they are more sensitive and they work prior to a missed period. If you’ve already missed your period and are nervous about pregnancy, chances are you don’t need to buy the test that can find HCG in your urine five days before a missed period.”
She recommends tests that use the pink dye. This list from TheBump agrees. Pink dye tests give less false positives than blue dye tests, like you’d find at the pharmacy–and they are available at most dollar stores, or in bulk on Amazon. That’s right–the cheapest tests can yield the most accurate results.
- Figure out the best time for you to test. For some tests, testing earlier works. But for others, you may need to wait until the date for your period has already come and gone.
- Take the test. Depending on what type of test you take, you may have to either pee on the stick, or you might have to dip the stick in a plastic cup of urine yourself.
- Take the test a couple more times, to be sure. False positives are a thing, and repeating on a negative may give you peace of mind.
My results are positive. Now what?
Party, if that’s the result you were hoping for! Then set up an appointment with your doctor to get a professional confirmation and learn about the next steps you need to take to be healthy, like testing for Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
If you weren’t hoping for a positive response, don’t panic. You still have options. Don’t rush out to buy a Plan B pill, either. They will not get rid of an already conceived zygote, only prevent sperm and egg from meeting up. There are some medications that will do that, but you’ll have to see a doctor to get your hands on them.
See your doctor, or go to your local woman’s clinic or Planned Parenthood. Avoid clinics that aren’t sponsored by the state. They could be Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which can be very harmful, especially to younger women.
My results are negative. Now what?
Party, if that’s the result you were hoping for! Then, read up on safer sex to make sure you’re doing it right so this isn’t an issue in the future. No one knows everything about safer sex, and our knowledge is constantly evolving. There’s no shame in starting with an article like, “How to Use a Condom,” just to make sure you have the basics down pat.