As most of us also know, this really just is not possible. Home pregnancy tests are only reliable once a sufficient amount of the pregnancy hormone HCG has started being produced. This varies widely in different women, but is seldom sufficient before the first period is missed. Some women (myself included) do test positive early, before that missed period. Which means you know about the pregnancy almost before your own body. Great! No more wondering, agonising and waiting impatiently for the days to go by. Pregnancy confirmed at 3 weeks! Let’s get excited, phone the family, make a shopping list and get ready for our newest family member! In my experience (yes been there) this is a dangerous and slippery slope. Most likely to go just fine, but with a decent 15-25% chance of ending badly.
Chemical pregnancies, early miscarriages, blighted ovums, call them what you will, are a part of the imperfect human make-up. Our eggs aren’t always 100% formed, the sperm might have been short an important bit, or some other completely random factor may negatively influence fertilisation and implantation at that time. It happens more often than we may realise or ever know about. As mentioned above, 15-25% of potential pregnancies end this way (figure based on various sources, including my obstetrician who quoted 20%). So what has this got to do with testing early? Well, sometimes, no news is good news.
These very early pregnancy losses can happen some of the time, are normal and natural (when no underlying conditions exist) and present as a regular period, perhaps slightly late and a little heavier, but seldom anything untoward enough to think twice about. Basically, by knowing about your pregnancy as early as 3 weeks, you do open yourself up to an awful shock, and significant emotional strain, should your period arrive as scheduled. You may suspect, but confirming it with a test will make it real. Bad PMS is a perfectly good explanation should your suspicions not become reality. Back in the ‘good old days’ home pregnancy tests were not available, and women waited up to two missed periods before even considering pregnancy. Our modern medical advancements are nothing short of a miracle, but there are rare times when knowing too much can in fact not be in our best interest. Moral of the story? Don’t do it! It may be the hardest thing in the world to wait, but I am done with reversing pregnancy announcements. I am the very worst at waiting but going to give my doctor’s advice my best shot. In my opinion, I would prefer to experience a late period, even if I suspect that I may be pregnant, rather than having to label it a miscarriage. One of the few times in my life when I believe that not knowing for sure is a good thing.
This obviously does not apply to all women, especially those with medical conditions. So for me it’s going to be a four week wait, not the famous two weeks. Let’s see if I can hold out when the time comes. Not long now....What has been your experience with pregnancy testing and do you agree that it’s better to wait?
Author bio: Megan is a new blogger, lives in the sunny suburb of Rivonia, Johannesburg, and recently threw in the towel on a crazy-hectic job to work from home part-time. Her kids and husband are enjoying the change as much as she is.
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Hindsight and the Human Touch - Experiencing Early Miscarriage.