Home Pregnancy Testing
The information below will help you determine if you wish to do the pregnancy test at home or have the test done at McKinley Health Center.
What test is used to determine if a woman is pregnant?
When a woman is pregnant, her body produces a hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone may be detectable in a woman's urine or blood as early as the first day of a missed period.
When should I do a pregnancy test?
Even though hCG levels may be detected on the first day of a missed period, the accuracy of the test is greatly improved when the test is done one week after a woman has missed her period. If you have irregular menstrual cycles, the test can be done 36 days after the first day of the last period. Waiting until the period is one week late allows for a natural delay in onset of the period, or a date miscalculation, reducing the need to repeat a test.
If you have had unprotected intercourse within the previous two weeks, a test result may not be reliable yet. Use a consistent method of birth control and wait at least two weeks before doing a test. If you have had unprotected intercourse within the previous 120 hours you are a candidate for Emergency Contraception (ECP). ECP is available over-the-counter at pharmacies.
Is a home pregnancy test right for me?
Review the questions below.
- Are you experiencing any abdominal pain?
- Have you had any irregular spotting or bleeding since your last period?
If you answer YES to either of the questions you should talk with a nurse in Women’s Health or Dial-A-Nurse immediately.
If your answers are no, then a home pregnancy test may be a good option for you. If you have already done a home test, it probably does not need to be repeated. Call 333-2700 (select Women’s Health) to discuss the results if you have questions or call Dial-A-Nurse.
How do I get a pregnancy test done?
You may obtain a home pregnancy test kit at McKinley's Health Resource Centers located at McKinley Health Center, Main Lobby, Information/HRC counter - 333-6000 or at the Illini Union, Room 40, lower level - 244-5994. On Saturdays or if the Health Resource Centers are closed, the McKinley Health Center Pharmacy can provide a kit. Read the instructions included in the kit and follow them carefully.
If you have other questions please call Dial-A-Nurse.
A word about the results
The home pregnancy test is over 99% accurate. The results are most accurate when done using the first urine specimen of the morning. False negatives may occur in the very early stages of pregnancy. False positives are very rare and repeat testing is seldom indicated.
If the test result is negative, you should be sure to use contraceptive protection with every act of intercourse until you have a normal period. If a normal period does not occur within three weeks after the negative test you should call Women's Health, and speak with a Women’s Health nurse to discuss the appropriate follow-up.
There may be health-related issues that require evaluation. There are many birth control options available at McKinley Health Center. An On-line Birth Control Education Class is available to learn more about the birth control methods. Condoms and spermicide are available at McKinley's Health Resource Centers located at McKinley Health Center, Main Lobby, Information/HRC counter - 333-6000 or at the Illini Union, Room 40, lower level - 244-5994. Pap smears and screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are available in the McKinley Women’s Health Unit. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 333-2700 (select Women’s Health).
If the test result is Positive, a Women’s Health unit nurse is available to talk with you and answer any questions you might have. Test results are confidential, as is your decision regarding the outcome. No attempt will be made to influence your decision. You can make an appointment with a Women's Health office nurse by calling 333-2700 (select Women's Health). You are encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your decision or options.
If you plan to continue the pregnancy, early prenatal care is very important. If you are planning a termination, fewer complications are associated with terminations done early in pregnancy. Pregnancy related care is not provided at McKinley Health Center (prenatal or termination). There is additional information on the McKinley Web site (www.mckinley.illinois.edu) that you may wish to review.
If the pregnancy test result is Positive and you experience abdominal pain, spotting, or bleeding you should call the Dial-A-Nurse at 333-2700 immediately (this line is answered 24 hours a day) or go to:
- Carle Foundation Hospital Emergency Department
- Provena Covenant Medical Center Emergency Department
- your local emergency department