Pre Pregnancy FAQs
Folic acid is one of the many forms of ‘vitamin B’ – B9 actually, although you would rarely hear it called that. While folate is found naturally in foods, folic acid is the version of folate that we see added to foods or as supplements. Folic acid is an extremely important vitamin for growth and development, most recognised for its role in reducing neural tube defects in growing babies.
In short it is highly unlikely. As part of your menstrual cycle, your “period” is the shedding of the uterus lining which would otherwise need to stay in place if you were pregnant. Ovulation is needed to fall pregnant and for most women this occurs approx 2 weeks after the start of your last period. Speak to your healthcare professional for advice.
A regular home pregnancy test can be taken close to your missed period, or after. A test will show positive if the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG hormone) levels in your urine are high enough for this test to detect. Always follow the specific instructions on the pack for most accurate results. A common mistake is to take a home pregnancy test too soon before a missed period. If you're waiting in anticipation for a positive pregnancy test, there are early response pregnancy tests available for around 6 days before your missed period.
A positive home pregnancy test result should always be followed up by a doctor’s visit. The hCG hormone blood test from your doctor will be the most accurate in confirming pregnancy.
Low levels of hCG hormone may be found in your blood about 6 to 10 days after ovulation. Your hCG hormone level is usually high enough around 1-7 days after your missed period, to measure on a home pregnancy test. hCG hormone levels are highest towards the end of your first trimester. They then gradually decline over the rest of your pregnancy.
While home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate, they can sometimes give you a false result, so it’s a good idea to repeat the test a week later to double check or see your doctor for a more accurate blood test. Tips for a more accurate result:
- Read the directions on your test before you start and follow them carefully.
- Don’t drink too much fluid beforehand as it can dilute your hCG hormone levels.
- Test your urine first thing in the morning when it’s most concentrated.
If you test negative but you are still unsure, make an appointment to see your doctor. A blood test conducted by your doctor is more likely to be accurate than a home pregnancy test.
There is an early response home pregnancy test which can be taken around 5 or less days before your period is due. These are sometimes called 'first response' or 'early response', and are similar to standard home pregnancy tests but are designed to be more sensitive to hCG hormone levels in urine so in theory can give you an earlier indication. Remember that every woman is different and will have different hormone levels in her urine so the accuracy of this test is not as reliable as a regular home pregnancy test taken around the time of your missed period. As always, a hCG hormone blood test from your doctor will be the most accurate in confirming pregnancy.
A false positive on a pregnancy test is when the test says you are pregnant but you are actually not. It's possible but uncommon. There are many reasons why this could happen, including having blood or protein or some types of medication in the urine. Remember to always check with your doctor if you're unsure.
A false negative is when you get a negative result on a home pregnancy test when in fact you are actually pregnant. A common reason for a false negative is if you take the test too early, which will result in the hCG hormone levels in your urine not being high enough for the test to detect. Check the instructions carefully on the pack to make sure you’re not testing too early. Other reasons may include not taking the test as instructed, or your home pregnancy test could have an expired date so check those things carefully as well. Best to check with your doctor if you get a negative pregnancy test but you're still experiencing some signs & symptoms of pregnancy.