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Author Topic: Quick Question
98217509812347
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Hi guys, I just have a quick question about pregnancy tests. I know you recommend taking the tests 14 days after intercourse, but what is that number based on? Is that based on the time it takes for implantation to occur?
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Robin Lee
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Yes. Take a look at the article below. It explains exactly what happens from the time an egg and sperm are both released, to when they meet, to after they meet. I think that will make it clearer. [Smile]

Where DID I Come From? A Refresher Course in Human Reproduction

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Robin

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98217509812347
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Thank you that did help! So just to clarify, if implantation bleeding occured, and then a pregnancy test was taken 6-7 days later, would that test be accurate?
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98217509812347
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And by accurate, I mean the 99% accuracy of a normal pregnancy test.
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Robin Lee
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Since it's often hard to know what the cause of any vaginal bleeding is, I'm still more inclined to say that it's safer to measure time in terms of when the sexual activity that could have led to pregnancy occurred. Does that make sense?

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Robin

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98217509812347
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Yes I understand. I know you can never really know for sure, but hypothetically speaking, if one did know for sure that it was implantation bleeding, and a test was taken 6-7 days later, would it be accurate?
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Robin Lee
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Since that timing would most likely put one in the after-14-days-after-sexual activity time bracket necessary for positive pregnancy test results, then yes, what you're describing would yield an accurate test result.

Again, though, it's really very near to impossible to know that a certain bout of bleeding was implantation bleeding unless one gets a positive pregnancy test result then works backwards to figure out the timing.

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Robin

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98217509812347
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Gotcha, but just out of curiosity, what if it was 6-7 days after implantation bleeding, but before 14 days, say it was 12 or 13 days after intercourse, would it be safe to say that would yield an accurate result because it was after implantation bleeding and close enough to the 14 days?
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Robin Lee
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In that case, I would suggest a retest.

Are you by any chance asking about the concerns you've expressed before about your girlfriend being pregnant?

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Robin

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98217509812347
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I'm just trying to understand better how accurate a test like that would've been
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Robin Lee
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Well, as we've talked about here before, a test can be considered accurate 14 or more days after the sexual activity in question, or when a period is late.

Alternatively, if someone gets there period when they expect to get it, we can also be pretty sure someone is not pregnant.

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Robin

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98217509812347
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Which, in your opinion, is a stronger sign: getting an expected period 3 times in a row, or a negative pregnancy test 14 days or later?
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Heather
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For some pregnant people, a test 14 days after a risk will be too soon: not everyone's body produces hCg in detectable amounts that soon.

But three regular periods in a row makes very clear someone is not pregnant, and a person can always wait to test a little longer or retest if that's not good enough for them.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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98217509812347
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Ok thanks! So what about a pregnancy test taken like a week after a period, would that or 3 periods in a row be a better sign of someone not being pregnant? I guess what I'm asking is I know pregnancy tests when taken right are 99% accurate, would having 3 periods be better or worse than that 99% accuracy?

Thanks again for all of yor guys help and patience.

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Robin Lee
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Having three periods in a row is a truly accurate indication that someone isn't pregnant. After three months, or however long it takes any individual to have three periods, a person would also know whether they were pregnant or not, or at the very least whether they had serious physical changes in their body that needed to be addressed.

In sum, in the situation you describe, the timing of the pregnancy test is much less significant than the fact that there have been three periods since then.

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Robin

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98217509812347
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So is that just in my personal situation? Or in general would getting several periods in a row be a slightly more accurate sign that someone isn't pregnant than a pregnancy test, even taken at the right time?
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Heather
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A pregnancy test, taken properly and at the right time, tells a person if their body is producing a hormone SPECIFIC to -- and which ONLY occurs with -- pregnancy. So, it doesn't get more accurate than that.

Having periods isn't really something we can compare this way, because periods aren't a test and don't measure for that hormone. So, this either/or between them isn't something I feel is sound to get stuck on.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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98217509812347
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Ok, but nonetheless, three periods would still be an extremely strong sign, almost a positive sign, that someone isn't pregnant, even if no test was ever taken, correct?
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Robin Lee
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Yes, it would be.

I am concerned, because we have discussed this several times, going over the same information, and it doesn't appear to be easing your anxiety.

I'm not sure what would be helpful to you at this point. What do you think would be helpful, aside from your girlfriend taking another test, which you have said she doesn't want to do?

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Robin

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98217509812347
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That's the thing, other than that I can't really think of anything.... I also have one other question, someone on here told me before that decidual bleeding doesn't always happen at the time of a regular period, that it's totally random when it happens. I haven't read or heard that anywhere else, is that true? That decidual bleeding happens at totally random times?
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Heather
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Decidual bleeding rarely happens, period. And honestly, it's something you hear more of in internet scare tales than you ever hear even working in women's health clinics.

Can we address why you feel hung up on this?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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98217509812347
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Yes I would like to, but also first could you clarify if decidual bleeding is random, or if when it does happen, it happens when an expected period would come?
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Robin Lee
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I think we've talked about that before. It's generally random; if it comes at the same time as a period has, that's just a coincidence, and is unlikely to happen 3 times in a row.

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Robin

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Robin Lee
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I do very strongly suspect though that repeating this information isn't very helpful to you in the long run.

I'm wondering why something which is relatively rare--decidual bleeding--is something that you're focussing on, rather than your girlfriend's awareness that she is not pregnant, or the information we have given you?

If this sounds harsh, I apologize; it just seems as if, for your own sake, and for the sake of your relationship, it's pretty important for you to be able to work through this anxiety.

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Robin

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98217509812347
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I would like to work through the anxiety too, and sometimes just hearing clarification on a topic helps me, such as the possible randomness or not of decidual bleeding, because I'm not sure if it's scheduled like a period, or random..
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Robin Lee
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It really is random.

If it would help you to read more information about it, you could look online. You'll want to make sure that you're looking at reputable sites with accurate, up-to-date information, of course.

Some US based sites you might find helpful are the sites for the National Institutes of Health or the Mayo Clinic.

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Robin

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Heather
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It also sounds like you have the idea that periods are on a strict schedule, too, and they're often really not. It's very common for periods to deviate by a few days -- and far more with younger women sometimes -- to differ in amount of flow, type, and for how long flow happens.

But for someone who has a period that's been fairly consistent, they know what their period feels like. And to boot, someone having 4-7 days of period-type flow is not usually going to be someone able to sustain a pregnancy, regardless.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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98217509812347
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Thank you for your help. I know almost everything is pointing towards her not being pregnant, but for some reason I can't get the thought out of my mind. And then I think that if I can't get this thought out of my mind, maybe that's a sign that she is pregnant?
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Heather
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Unless you're suggesting you're some kind of magical reproductive system psychic (the Uterus Whisperer! [Razz] ), I don't think that likely has anything to do with you staying hung up on this.

What's much more likely is that you are having anxiety about this, and REALLY don't want a pregnancy to be something you experience or have to deal with anytime soon.

So, how about you reevaluate if engaging in intercourse is the right thing for you right now? And if you think it is something you can handle, what about reevaluating your birth control plan? For instance, are you using two reliable methods, like a pill or ring and condom? If not, why not talk about doing that?

[ 07-20-2012, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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98217509812347
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haha, good point. And I don't think I am going to have intercourse for a little while. Also, we did use two methods. We used the pill, however she does occasionally miss one, and we used a condom, but we did keep going for a little after I ejaculated. However, the condom didn't slip or break...
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Heather
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So, sounds to me like you're just not ready for this jelly yet. And you know, that's okay. The trick is just to recognize it and make different choices. It'll all be a lot more fun when you feel more relaxed about this, anyway. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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98217509812347
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Agreed. I guess it was a little crazy to worry about it anyways with the two methods. Even though we kept going after ejaculation, the condom didn't slip or break, so that would have 98% effectiveness and the pill would still have decent effectiveness even though she misses one occasionally, right?
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Heather
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I'd not call it crazy. I'd simply say it's an excellent indication of that kind of sex -- for whatever reason -- clearly not being the right choice for you right now, that's all (if you already know how BC works, that it does, etc.).

I really think that we're not going to be able to logic these pervasive fears away of yours if you have already read all the info we have on contraception, the methods you are using, and pregnancy. I think what's going to change how you feel is simply making choices in better alignment with what you're ready to handle right now.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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