How many pregnancy tests does it take to prove a pregnancy?
No, it’s not a joke, it’s a pretty clear fact that women either trying to conceive or terrified of being pregnant, don’t trust the first test.
With the increased efficiency of over the counter pregnancy tests, the majority are pretty accurate. Some are even accurate from the first day of a missed period. So, why does it take multiples to prove one way or the other?
How many tests to prove you’re pregnant?
For me, it was two.
Two tests to convince me to make an appointment with my gynaecologist- only really really appropriate in Cyprus, but the Fetal Medical Centre and Dr Maria were fabulous.
I was expecting to have to try harder and for longer. My Mirena Coil (IUS) removal had only happened three months before, and I had had a single period. Who manages that? For over ten years I had barely ovulated (a beneficial side effect to the Mirena system – see the previous article). I was sure that I had damaged my ability to have children with irrational fears of a previous termination making things difficult in conjunction with making hormonal changes to my body.
While false negatives, pregnancy test showing a negative result, are common for several reasons (testing too early, not using morning urine to test, not holding the stick in the stream for long enough, low or high hormone levels, the list is long), false positives are less common. However, I remained unconvinced. With a second positive pregnancy test, I was sufficiently sure to make a doctor’s appointment.
My Honey didn’t need the test to be sure that I was pregnant, but that is another story.
Why does it take multiple attempts to confirm what your body already knows and has shown you?
Whether it is fear of being pregnant, and not wanting to be, or fear of not being pregnant, once you have achieved it. It is still fear. I have been in both places, and at both times I was terrified.
Fear of being pregnant can come close to panic when you aren’t ready and don’t wish to bring another life into the world. I went through four pregnancy tests at that time. A quote often attributed to Einstein states that insanity is making the same mistakes and expecting a different outcome. I came close to insane panic then.
The fear of becoming attached to a pregnancy that isn’t real is another cold terror. When you are trying to conceive, you have made plans and have hopes and dreams of family, fear of NOT being pregnant can be equally as debilitating.
When you see the faint, but definite, pink line on your pregnancy test that indicates you are pregnant, it is a rush of emotion.
“I have a little person growing inside me” <<Awe, amazement, joy, wonder, hope>>
“Is there a little person growing inside me, really? How can I be sure? <<Fear, uncertainty, dread, what if I do something wrong?>>
Seeing isn’t always believing
I wasn’t ready to believe until I had confirmation from a doctor. In the weeks running up to the positive pregnancy tests, I had run the gamut of emotions and theories.
Symptoms: Sore breasts, lumps that turned up out of nowhere then just as quickly disappeared.
Perpetual panic at the smallest thing. Trouble breathing and hyperventilating. Pacing. Constant talking.
PCOS (Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome)
This is still a possibility, but I have yet to get a definitive diagnosis. It was mooted in my early twenties but never investigated in-depth.
From the list above I may seem like a Negative Nelly, but they were all plausible and they were all reason enough not to get too attached to any possibility of a pregnancy, without confirmation.
I know that I don’t deal well with loss. This may come as a surprise to people who don’t know me well because I tend to project a pragmatic and almost fatalistic facade to mask the sheer terror that lingers under the surface. Especially when there is something I desperately want.
When seeing IS beliveing
I wasn’t ready to believe until I had confirmation from multiple sources. I had two strips of hormone-sensitive paper (that I did myself), one from the GYN, and then I saw a bean and heard a heartbeat.
That made it real.
What do you say to your OB-GYN when she asks your usual cycle length?
I don’t know. I have one period in the past ten years, does that mean I have a ten-year cycle?