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Urine tests are accurate from around 2 - 2½ weeks into the pregnancy, or from the first day of a suspected missed period.

Blood tests are accurate from the first 10-12 days of pregnancy onwards, or from a couple of days before a suspected missed period onwards. As soon as the embroyo is settled in the uterus, it starts to emit the hCG hormone, which is otherwise not present in your body. 10 days after fertilisation, its presence in your body can be detected. The concentration of hCG increases steadily until the 9th week and then decreases.

A blood test or a urine test is possible from the first days of a suspected missed period onwards. These are 99% accurate, but note that false ‘negative’ results are more common than false ‘positive’ results. So if you take a test early on in your suspected missed period and it’s negative, it’s worth repeating, just to be sure. You have to wait a little longer for your first scan.

If everything is going normally, you’ll have your first scan at around 12 weeks. This will give you a precise due date, +/- 3 days. It will also confirm all is well with the baby, (major abnormalities can be detected, and the doctor will make sure the baby is growing inside the womb). If there are any symptoms, a history of medical problems or worries of either miscarriage or the baby growing outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy), a scan can be performed at around 8 weeks.


Sarah Horrocks
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