Call your doctor

Seeing the two lines or a positive sign on a home pregnancy test can bring on a flood of emotions. Many women find themselves feeling ecstatic after seeing the positive test result and then crying the very next minute out of anxiety of what awaits next. Even for couples who have been trying to conceive a baby for a long time, a positive pregnancy test can be a shock. The first reaction is usually doubting the accuracy of the test and taking a couple more before finally trusting the results.[1] Well, so while you finally have a positive pregnancy test, now what? Most women wonder about what to do after a positive pregnancy test.  Here's everything you will need to know about what to do after a positive pregnancy test.

Positive Pregnancy Test - now what?

The first thought that pops into a woman's mind after seeing the first positive pregnancy test is to wonder whether the test is accurate. Various studies have been done on the accuracy of these home pregnancy tests, and most have determined that the tests are highly effective.[2,3] Most of these tests are 97 percent accurate.[4]

Once you have got a positive pregnancy test, the next step would be to call your doctor or midwife. Your physician may want you to schedule a visit for a checkup and take an in-office pregnancy test. This visit will be for a blood test to measure the exact amount of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropic (hCG) present in your blood.[5] 

The hCG blood test measures the level of the hCG hormone present in your bloodstream. The body produces this hormone during pregnancy, and an hCG blood test provides the most accurate results, even when the hCG levels are low in the blood during the early stages of your pregnancy.[6,7]

Even though the home pregnancy tests are incredibly accurate these days, your doctor would still like to confirm your results. They may administer a blood test and a urine test and perform a full pelvic exam.

See: Garbh Sanskar Therapy To Manage Anxiety During Pregnancy

Confirm your pregnancy's results

While it is extremely rare, but a home pregnancy test can sometimes give a false-positive result. This false event usually happens in the following circumstances:

·        Chemical pregnancy

·        Recent miscarriage or abortion

·        Certain fertility medications such as Novarel, Profasi, Ovidrel, Pregnyl, etc.

·        Existing medical conditions such as kidney disease, urinary tract infection, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, pituitary problems

·        Ectopic pregnancy[8]

·        User error

·        Using an expired pregnancy test 

·        The appearance of evaporation lines that look like a positive test

Your doctor may prescribe a transvaginal ultrasound to look at the gestational sac and confirm that your pregnancy is proceeding normally. So if you are wondering about what to do after a positive home pregnancy test, then these are among the important next steps you need to take immediately.

A visit to the doctor's clinic will also help determine if you have received a false positive. It might come as an immense relief for some women to find out that they are not pregnant. At the same time, if you were excitedly waiting for pregnancy confirmation, a false positive can be disappointing. It is important to remember that false positives do happen while using at-home pregnancy tests, but this does not imply that you are never going to get pregnant again.[9]

See: Pregnancy Diet & Nutrition

Move on to prenatal care

Time to move on to Prenatal Care

After getting a positive pregnancy test, now what? This question often flashes before women who are expecting their first child. Making an appointment with your doctor to find out everything you need to know about prenatal care should be first on your list of what to do after a positive pregnancy test. 

The importance of proper prenatal care cannot be stressed upon enough.[10] Every doctor has different guidelines about when they want you to come in for your first prenatal checkup. Some doctors may ask you to come in immediately, while others may ask you to wait until you cross week 8. 

Here are certain things you can expect at your first prenatal appointment:[11] 

·        Complete physical exam

·        A social, sexual, and medical history will be taken, including a gynecologic and reproductive history. 

·        A family medical history will be taken.

·        Ultrasound, usually a transvaginal ultrasound, is carried out to date the pregnancy.

·        A series of laboratory tests, including blood and urine tests, will be done.

You should make a point to tell your doctor about any health issues you have and any medications you are taking. It is vital to consult your doctor about this to determine if these medications are safe for you to continue during your pregnancy. If not, then they will recommend an alternate drug that can be taken safely during your pregnancy. Remember that it is not safe to even take over-the-counter medications during pregnancy without consulting your doctor first.[12]

See: Pregnancy yoga poses & classes

Get a healthy start

Get off to a healthy start. To keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy, you can do some of the following:

- Take a prenatal vitamin daily after talking to your physician.

- Talk to your physician prior to taking any medications (prescription and over-the-counter).

- Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. All these behaviors can cause long-term harm for you and your unborn baby.

- Avoid jacuzzis, saunas, and tanning beds.

- Eat healthy foods, including lots of fruits, vegetables (wash before eating), grains, and calcium-rich foods. Don't eat raw or undercooked fish or meats, and unpasteurized cheese. 

- Minimize the intake of artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and vitamins other than prenatal ones.

- Wear gloves when handling chemicals or gardening.

- Do not have X-rays around your lower abdomen or pelvic region.

- Exercise during and after pregnancy

- Manage your stress and anxiety

- Yoga and meditation asanas (with the guidance of a knowledgable instructor you are comfortable with)

- Consult with your doctor about the right exercise program for you - both when you are pregnant and after your child's birth. A wholesome exercise program may start with walking, swimming, jogging, or any other aerobic exercise for 15 minutes, four or more days a week. Increase exercise duration by a few minutes each day until you get to 45 minutes per session.

- If you experience any back pain during pregnancy, try gentle activities like walking or swimming. You may also get pain relief from doing stretching exercises, practicing good posture, lifting correctly, and sporting low-heeled supportive shoes. Getting prenatal massages by qualified therapists may prove helpful.

- Strength training helps to rebuild bone mass after delivery. It is especially important when you decide to breastfeed. That is because you'll experience some loss of bone mineral density while calcium moves into your breast milk. Studies indicate that exercising is secure during the breastfeeding stage, and won't affect your child's growth or the quality or volume of your breast milk.

See: Anxiety & stress in pregnancy natural remedies

Problems during pregnancy

Possible problems to watch out for during pregnancy

Telephone your doctor or healthcare team immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

- Severe nausea or headache that does not go away

- Bleeding or leaking of fluid from the vagina

- Fever over 100.5 degrees F

- Nausea and vomiting that is not going away

- Cramping or pain in your stomach

- Blurred vision

- Sores or blisters in the vaginal area

- Rash or severe itching

- Pain when urinating

- Irritating vaginal discharge

- Swollen hands, feet, or face

See: Acupuncture for Nausea & Vomiting Treatment

Make the happy announcement

Make the Happy Announcement

Remember that there is no hurry to announce the news to everyone you know immediately. It is okay to take some time to get used to the pregnancy news and keep it between yourself and your partner. After all, it is easy to hide a baby bump during the early stages of pregnancy. 

In many cultures, it is normal to wait until your second trimester begins to announce the big news. This delay is intentional to ensure that your pregnancy reaches a safe stage because miscarriages can commonly occur in the first trimester of any pregnancy. This caution is why it is best to keep the news between your closest friends and family only for the initial three months.[13]

See: Acupuncture provides relief for morning sickness in pregnancy

Summary

Once you have a positive pregnancy test, now what is a question that crosses the minds of most women. It is essential to take it easy and focus on your health during the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Remember that even though things may look the same on the outside during these early days, a lot is changing inside you, and it is vital to take good care of yourself to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy is a life-changing event for everyone, and you must give yourself and your partner the time to adjust to this big news. Identify a physician you are comfortable with and get started on your prenatal care. Proper prenatal care is necessary not just for your baby, but for your health as well. Enjoy this moment and start preparing for the journey of the next nine months.

See: Ayurveda for Nausea in Pregnancy

References

1. Gnoth, C., and Johnson, S., 2014. Strips of hope: accuracy of home pregnancy tests & new developments. Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde, 74(07), pp.661-669.

2. Butler, S.A., Khanlian, S.A., and Cole, L.A., 2001. Detection of early pregnancy forms of human chorionic gonadotropin by home pregnancy test devices: clinical chemistry, 47(12), pp.2131-2136.

3. Doshi, M.L., 1986. Accuracy of consumers performed in-home tests for early pregnancy detection: American journal of public health, 76(5), pp.512-514.

4. Cole, L.A., Khanlian, S.A., Sutton, J.M., Davies, S. and Rayburn, W.F., 2004. Accuracy of home pregnancy tests at the time of missed menses. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 190(1), pp.100-105.

5. Henry, J.B., and Little, W.A., 1962. Immunological test for pregnancy. JAMA, 182(3), pp.230-233.

6. Wide, L. and Gemzell, C.A., 1960. An immunological pregnancy test. European Journal of Endocrinology, 35(II), pp.261-267.

7. Catt, K.J., Dufau, M.L., and Vaitukaitis, J.L., 1975. Appearance of hCG in pregnancy plasma following the initiation of implantation of the blastocyst. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 40(3), pp.537-540.

8. Barnhart, K.T., 2009. Ectopic pregnancy. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(4), pp.379-387.

9. Braunstein, G.D., 2002. False-positive serum human chorionic gonadotropin results: causes, characteristics, and recognition. American journal of obstetrics & gynecology, 187(1), pp.217-224.

10. Wise, P.H., Wampler, N., and Barfield, W., 1995. The importance of extreme prematurity and low birth weight to U.S. neonatal mortality patterns: implications for prenatal care and women's health. Journal of the American Medical Women's Association (1972), 50(5), pp.152-155.

11. Nettleman, M.D., Brewer, J., and Stafford, M., 2010. Scheduling the first prenatal visit: office-based delays. American journal of obstetrics & gynecology, 203(3), pp.207-e1.

12. Werler, M.M., Mitchell, A.A., Hernandez-Diaz, S., and Honein, M.A., 2005. Use of over-the-counter medications during pregnancy: American journal of obstetrics & gynecology, 193(3), pp.771-777.

13. Maconochie, N., Doyle, P., Prior, S. and Simmons, R., 2007. Risk factors for first-trimester miscarriage—results from a UK‐population‐based case-control study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 114(2), pp.170-186.

See: Migraine During Pregnancy with Bisoma Acupuncture

Dosha Quiz

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email