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How Early Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?

How Early Can You Take A Pregnancy Test?

If you think you may be pregnant, you will most likely want to know as soon as possible. Fortunately, today there are very effective home pregnancy tests which will give you accurate results very early on in the gestation period. You’re probably wondering about some of the following.

How Early Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?

This will depend largely on the test itself. Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. Check the instructions on the box before you take the test, as you may be taking it too soon. Most tests outline that you take the test on the first day of your missed period. Those who have a regular cycle will figure this out easily. If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is to count twenty-one days from when you last had unprotected sex.

More sensitive tests will give you an accurate result even three days before your period is due.

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If you are wondering how early can I take a pregnancy test?, the best thing to do is wait until the first day of your missed period. This makes for a more accurate result and will leave less uncertainty in the long run.

What Is It Testing For?

The pregnancy test looks for levels of the hormone called HCG or human chorionic gonadotrophin. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, this hormone is produced by your body.

At two weeks after fertilization, there is usually enough HCG present to achieve a positive result on a pregnancy kit.

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What Is My Conception Date?

In order to conceive, you first need to ovulate or release an egg from your ovaries. On average, this happens at fourteen days after day 1 of your last period. This egg will live in your uterus for twelve to twenty-four hours. A sperm must come into contact with your egg within this time in order for you to get pregnant. Sperm can live for seven days once in your uterus, so this means that you could become pregnant if you have unprotected sex up to seven days before you ovulate.

So the short answer is, it depends on the date of the first day of your last period, and the dates you had unprotected sex. If you have had unprotected sex a few times throughout the month, it may be harder to tell exactly when you conceived.

Can I Be Sure of the Results?

If you get a negative result, check all of your dates again. When was the first day of your last period? What does it say on the box about when is a good time to take the test? Make sure you are adhering to the instructions to get the most accurate result. Sometimes, a negative result can be inaccurate. You may not have a high enough level of HCG in your system just yet. Try again in one week and see if you get the positive result that you are expecting.

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If you get a positive result, you can be pretty sure it’s accurate.

It’s best not to drink too much fluid on the day of your test, as concentrated urine will have higher levels of HCG.

What if I have had a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, or an abortion?

If you have had a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, or an abortion, you will still have a certain level of HCG in your system for a few weeks. This will gradually decrease until eventually all levels of HCG will be gone. You can speak with your doctor for further advice on this,  but I would advise that you focus on looking after yourself for a while and let your body do its job naturally without any further worrying.

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Featured photo credit: Esparta via static.flickr.com

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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