Testing for Pregnancy

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kourt1996
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Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

Just some back information, so my boyfriend and I were messing around the day I started my last period (July 13.) he never put his penis inside me, but he ejaculated on my butt. I was worried that his semen might have ran down to my vulva, so I took a plan b pill 3 hours later and I’m also on the pill. I keep reading that you must wait until your missed period for a pregnancy test to be accurate, but my period is still almost 2 weeks away. Is a test still considered accurate if taken 14 days after a risk even though it’s not time for your period?
Carly
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by Carly »

Hey Kourt1996! Happy to help!

At-home pregnancy tests are specifically designed to detect high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine. hCG is a hormone that occurs naturally in bodies of people who can get pregnant at a low levels but spikes noticeably in early pregnancy. The hCG in your body needs to have risen enough to be detectable by the test, which make take a few weeks because pregnancies do not happen immediately. Generally speaking, the levels would likely be high enough to detect around the time other symptoms - like missing a period - would start. It's best to wait a minimum of 14 days from the time of the sexual contact that you're concerned about or until you miss a period to take a pregnancy test.

I believe you wrote into our SMS helpline this past week with other questions related to this situation. Have the resources we've given you helped?
kourt1996
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

Yes, they have helped. I had deleted the messages regarding the pregnancy testing, so I couldn’t find the link about that. That’s why I was asking here. So if I test on July 27th, those results would be considered accurate even if my period would still be two weeks away?
Carly
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by Carly »

Totally okay to take stuff to the boards even if you've talked to us on another platform - in fact, I'd say a lot of us prefer the message board! :mrgreen: I just wanted to check in about what we sent before because I didn't want to resend stuff you'd seen already. I'm hearing some anxiety in your questions, so I think revisiting the Pregnancy Panic Companion could help. Let us know if you need us to repost anything we've sent previously. Anyway, back to your question --

You could take it as early as the 27th, but there's a chance that may be still too early for the hCG your body or the kind of test you use. For the most accurate result, it would be best to wait until after your missed period. Think of it like an avocado: though you can probably eat it before it ripens, it tastes the best when you wait until it does.
kourt1996
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

In the SMS messages, the person I was talking to stated that this interaction didn’t pose a risk because it wasn’t direct contact, but this is still causing me to have major anxiety. In the SMS messages, a link was sent about semen needing specific conditions, do you mind posting that link to me here?
Carly
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by Carly »

I'm not sure exactly which article that was, but there's a good chance it was Who's Afraid of Sperm Cells?.

Here's everything we've sent you so you have another place to reference it:
Human Reproduction: A Seafarer's Guide
The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method
Peeing on a Stick: All About Pregnancy Tests
And the Pregnancy Panic Companion, which I linked to above. One of my favorite resources we have!
kourt1996
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

Thank you so much. I have another question and I hope it makes sense. So I know Plan B is designed to delay ovulation. Since I’m on the pill, I shouldn’t ovulate anyways. Would I ovulate once the Plan B wears off or I still shouldn’t ovulate since I take the pill?
Carly
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by Carly »

If you are taking your pills correctly (one pill every day without skipping or missing), you likely were not going to ovulate in the first place and may not have needed to take the Plan B. It's my understanding that the pill and Plan B do not counteract and you will not ovulate. Plan B is most helpful in situations where people inconsistently take their birth control pill and have unprotected sex or if another birth control method fails. Or, if there is no birth control being used period.

Have you continued to take your pills regularly after you took the Plan B?
kourt1996
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

Yes, I have. As far as I know, I haven’t even missed a pill to begin with. I’m very careful about taking my pill everyday. I just took the Plan B as extra precaution.
LuC
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by LuC »

Hi kourt1996!

I think it's safe to say that you haven't ovulated, since you take your pills mindfully. However I don't think that Plan B was really necessary because, as Carly said, Plan B is most useful in certain situations, which are different than what you described. It's not meant however, to be taken frequently just for "extra precaution" since they are both hormonal methods and even if they won't interact with one another in terms of increasing your risk of pregnancy, they might be a little bit too many hormones for your body to take on.

Would you be interested in adding a non-hormonal method to the pill in order to feel safer?
kourt1996
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

I normally use a condoms when having sex with penetration, but since that didn’t happen this time I was only using the pill as contraception. I don’t like to only rely on the pill, so I took the Plan B because I wasn’t sure if the semen ran down to my vagina and could cause pregnancy.
LuC
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by LuC »

Using condoms on the regular sounds great!

Wanting to feel safer is perfectly understandable. The pill, has a 99,7% effectiveness rate with perfect use (which is, when you follow the manufacturer's directions correctly and consistently) and 91% effectiveness rate with typical use (which means you follow the directions but not that consistently or correctly). Also, when you combine the pill with EC you get a 99,97% effectiveness rate (only a 0,27% increase), which is great but as EC can make your cycle act crazy for a while because of the high level of hormones, it might not really be as significant to make up for the inconveniences it may provoke.
I think this article can prove SO USEFUL if you want to back the pill up with a second method, specially in these situations that could be a bit more expectable or frequent: The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method
And this one can help you with extra info on what's what and how each method works:
Birth Control Bingo
kourt1996
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

So I normally take my pill around 8:00 in the evening. Not always exactly at 8:00 but within a few hours. Occasionally I will fall asleep early and have to take my pill when I wake up in the morning, but that may happen once a packet, if that. I never take it more than 24 hours later. Since I don’t take it exactly at 8:00, would this be considered perfect or typical use?
Sam W
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi kourt1996,

So, it can help to remember that typical and perfect use rates are figured over the course of a year of use, rather than a single instance. That being said, a pill is only considered "missed" if it is not taken within 24 hours of the last pill, so occasionally taking it late should not decrease the effectiveness.
kourt1996
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by kourt1996 »

This is in response to Carly's reply about when to take a test. Can someone explain to me why it is best to wait until after a missed period to test if that would be 4+ weeks since the pregnancy risk? If I understand correctly, most pregnancy tests tell you to wait until your expected period to test because most women ovulate around 14 days before their expected period. If I tested 21 days after the risk of pregnancy, wouldn't that be considered the same amount of days?
Marisha
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Re: Testing for Pregnancy

Unread post by Marisha »

We will not answer ANY questions about pregnancy fear or anxiety in our direct services from users who are not pregnant or who are not or have not otherwise been directly involved with an actual pregnancy.

Please do not post this kind of question. If you are seeing this text, and your thread is locked, it is because you have posted this kind of question.

We CAN and WILL talk about things like:
• choosing and using a method or methods of contraception for any future sexual activity
• creating your own sexual limits and boundaries based on your needs and/or presenting them to any partners
• making sexual choices that suit your own needs, abilities and limitations, including your own readiness for certain possible risks
• help locating or using emergency contraception if and when you have had a pregnancy risk
• discussing options with a real, existing pregnancy, and help finding and accessing those options, such as abortion services and pre-natal care, or discussing feelings or concerns about a past pregnancy
• help with anxiety like locating mental health services, sound self-help or asking for support from friends or family

* * *
You asked about timing in terms of testing, and I hear the logic in your thinking here - you're worried that you may become pregnant if you ovulated before your risk, and are thinking it would make sense to test around the time of an expected period or after 2 weeks of the risk in this case. That's fine - you can absolutely do that. However, you have 3 things to keep in mind:

1) according to the description of the risk, you did not get semen directly on your vulva. Worrying will not make it so.
2) You are on birth control, which keeps you from ovulating. Worrying will not make it so.
3) I don't know where you received the information that most tests tell you to test during the time of an expected period, but timing-wise, that doesn't make much sense. Pregnancy tests measure a hormone called HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is produced after implantation occurs. Pregnancy tests that tell you to take a test before a missed period or that they can detect a pregnancy "early" are kind of banking on implantation occurring early-on in the 5-15 day window. A test is considered to be most accurate if you take it once implantation is likely to have occurred.

All this being said, our staff here has been engaging with your questions because we want to help you understand how testing, pregnancy, and birth control work. However, because the context of your post is essentially a pregnancy scare, which is not allowed on the boards, I will ask you to refer to the resources our staff members have already given you.
* * *

For help dealing with a scare (including what poses a risk and your next steps based on your unique situation), you may use our tool on site built for this purpose: The Pregnancy Panic Companion.
For help with anxiety, click here.
For related help and information at Scarleteen, click here.
If you would like more information about this policy, click here.
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