Confirming Pregnancy

Are you Pregnant?

Now that you have missed your period, how do you confirm your suspicion that you are pregnant?  There are many other causes why your period may be late, and this includes:

  • Emotional stress
  • Severe weight loss
  • Severe dieting
  • Over-exercising
  • Obesity
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Particular medications and drugs

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Symptoms of Pregnancy

You may have noticed the following normal symptoms of pregnancy:

  • Missed period
  • Nausea, often worst in the morning (but may be felt any time day and/or night), and may be associated with vomiting
  • Breast tenderness
  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness
  • Craving (or aversion) for certain foods


Urine Pregnancy Test Kits

These pregnancy test kits look for the pregnancy hormone (human choriogonadotrophin, hCG) in your urine.  This hormone is made by the placenta.  It is best to test your urine when you first get out of bed in the morning in order to improve accuracy of results.  This is because early morning urine is concentrated, and contains higher levels of hCG than at other times of the day.

If you get a positive result on your home pregnancy test, you should still see your GP to confirm the result.

The urinary test kits used by medical practices and pathology labs will generally show a positive result when the blood hCG level is >25 IU/L.

Urine pregnancy testPregnancy Blood Test

There are 2 types of blood tests for the pregnancy hormone (hCG).

  • Qualitative hCG – only gives “positive” or “negative” result
  • Quantitative hCG – measures the level of the hormone.

Many people think that level of the pregnancy hormone can be used to “date” the pregnancy, but the level of the hCG is actually not very useful for dating the pregnancy, because there is a large variation in the level of  hCG between different women at the same gestation.

Pregnancy - starting a new family

Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology