Accuracy of pregnancy tests

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Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Aggrax on Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:56 pm

So, I have a friend that is having a pregnancy scare. Her boyfriends condom recently broke during intercourse and she is currently about a week late on her period. She's taken 6 pregnancy tests and they have all come back negative at this point, but she's still very worried. Both her and her boyfriends parents are very "traditional" (which is why she isn't on birth control) and she's worried that he Mom will pull her out of college if this turns out to be true.

She's been confiding in me about this and I've been doing my best to be reassuring and calm, but I don't know crap about this sort of thing. Would you all say she's in the clear at this point or is there still anything to be nervous about? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by eselle28 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:03 pm

If it's a week after her period (timing counts) and she's taken multiple tests, she's probably not pregnant. Going to the student health center would clear things up completely, but I'm assuming that isn't immediately practical.

Once this is resolved (hopefully happily), perhaps she could stockpile a couple doses of the morning after pill? It's a little expensive, but it's available over the counter in the US.
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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Caffeinated on Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:11 pm

Yep, she's probably not pregnant.

Personal experience with this: Last year, when I was trying to get pregnant, my period was over a week late and I excitedly took a pregnancy test. It came back negative. I was disappointed, but still didn't get my period right away, so I went to the doctor. They didn't have any real explanation for me except sometimes a person's cycle just gets a little glitch.
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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Prajnaparamita on Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:11 pm

Just another point of personal experience with this: a "normal" cycle is considered 21 days. (But then again, few bodies are actually "normal" as it is defined in medicine.) I however (before I went on a hormonal IUD) frequently had 40 day cycles, and sometimes went over sixty days without getting my period. When I asked my doctor about it she reassured me that nothing was wrong and the irregular gaps was likely caused by stress, which I can totally see happening in the case of your friend.

Cycles fluctuate, for all sorts of reasons. I hope your friend is able to feel less scared soon, and I also hope that she'll be able to come to a place in her life where she doesn't have to fear the wrath of her parents anymore over the choices she makes in regards to her own body. That sounds like an all around nasty situation to be in.

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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Aggrax on Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:54 am

eselle28 wrote:If it's a week after her period (timing counts) and she's taken multiple tests, she's probably not pregnant. Going to the student health center would clear things up completely, but I'm assuming that isn't immediately practical.

Once this is resolved (hopefully happily), perhaps she could stockpile a couple doses of the morning after pill? It's a little expensive, but it's available over the counter in the US.

According to her, the timing should be fairly accurate. When she told me, I specifically asked about the morning after pill, but she said that she's morally opposed to using it. I didn't know enough about it to argue and didn't want to get into a moral argument about it. She's also not on birth control, because she's on her mothers insurance and her mother doesn't approve of birth control, believing that it leads to premarital sex (in the same way that fire extinguishers lead to excessive fires, presumably)

Caffeinated wrote:Yep, she's probably not pregnant.

Personal experience with this: Last year, when I was trying to get pregnant, my period was over a week late and I excitedly took a pregnancy test. It came back negative. I was disappointed, but still didn't get my period right away, so I went to the doctor. They didn't have any real explanation for me except sometimes a person's cycle just gets a little glitch.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Just another point of personal experience with this: a "normal" cycle is considered 21 days. (But then again, few bodies are actually "normal" as it is defined in medicine.) I however (before I went on a hormonal IUD) frequently had 40 day cycles, and sometimes went over sixty days without getting my period. When I asked my doctor about it she reassured me that nothing was wrong and the irregular gaps was likely caused by stress, which I can totally see happening in the case of your friend.

Cycles fluctuate, for all sorts of reasons. I hope your friend is able to feel less scared soon, and I also hope that she'll be able to come to a place in her life where she doesn't have to fear the wrath of her parents anymore over the choices she makes in regards to her own body. That sounds like an all around nasty situation to be in.

She did mention that she has been very stressed lately and it can cause missed cycles. Considering she's moving into a dorm soon, getting a new job and leaving all her friends behind to go to college, on top of the pregnancy scare, it's understandable that she's very stressed.
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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Izmuth on Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:41 am

I'd go with "period is just late 'cause pregnancy scares are stressful" too.

I'd personally take another test two weeks after the incident, if that one is negative she's not pregnant (before 14 days, depending on the test, the concentration of the hormone they measure might be too low to detect. 14 days after conception the hormone levels should nearly always be high enough).

For her peace of mind, she can also calculate when ovulation should have happened in her previous cycle, if the incident fell outside that five-day window (three days before, one after), that lessens the chances she's pregnant again (not recommended for birth control, 'cause ovulation cycles can be wily bastards).

Boyfriend might want to read up on correct condom usage, since he's also from a traditional household. Preventing air bubbles, using enough lube etc (Also inside the condom if he's circumsized!).
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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:47 am

Statistically, if she's been through six and they're all negative, she's not pregnant. The only ways to be more sure are to wait for her period or get a blood test. . . or something to do with killing rabbits.

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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Izmuth on Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:09 am

Gentleman Johnny wrote:Statistically, if she's been through six and they're all negative, she's not pregnant. The only ways to be more sure are to wait for her period or get a blood test. . . or something to do with killing rabbits.

Well, it really depends on when she's taken those six tests...

I've known people on forums having pregnancy scares who took tests before the 1 week mark after potential conception, and you're just throwing money down the drain at that point, because even if there's a fertilized egg it's not gonna show up in the test.

If she's taken at least one test (preferably two, but more than two would again be a waste of money) after two weeks after potential conception, she's almost certainly not pregnant, I agree on that.
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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by Aggrax on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:21 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:Statistically, if she's been through six and they're all negative, she's not pregnant. The only ways to be more sure are to wait for her period or get a blood test. . . or something to do with killing rabbits.

Pretty sure that only works if she's a squid. Plus, she's an only child.

Only child.

Izmuth wrote:Well, it really depends on when she's taken those six tests...

I've known people on forums having pregnancy scares who took tests before the 1 week mark after potential conception, and you're just throwing money down the drain at that point, because even if there's a fertilized egg it's not gonna show up in the test.

If she's taken at least one test (preferably two, but more than two would again be a waste of money) after two weeks after potential conception, she's almost certainly not pregnant, I agree on that.

She's taken them over the course of the last week, and the condom incident happened about two weeks ago, if I have my timeline correct.
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Re: Accuracy of pregnancy tests

Post by reboot on Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:56 pm

She not pregnant. Two weeks in and 6 negative tests is about as certain as you can get without a blood test
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