How an Urgent Care Performs Pregnancy Testing

Pregnancy Testing Herndon, VA

When you visit an urgent care center, there are a variety of reasons why the staff may need to perform pregnancy testing. This could be due to symptoms that suggest pregnancy, or it could be due to possibly needing treatment that is not recommended if you are pregnant.

Either way, urgent care will administer a pregnancy test by collecting a urine sample from you. To do this, you will simply urinate into a cup.

Once you have provided the sample, urgent care will use an is human chorionic gonadotropin dipstick to test for pregnancy. This is a urine test similar to those you can purchase over the counter.

When you become pregnant, your body begins producing a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. A urine pregnancy test works by detecting this hormone, usually at very small levels.

Urgent care staff will dip the test into your urine and then wait a certain amount of time — usually less than five minutes — to see if a chemical reaction takes place and causes a second line or plus sign to appear, indicating a positive result to your pregnancy testing.

If you receive a positive result at the urgent care center, you should see your primary care doctor for further care recommendations. Your primary care office may follow up your test results with a blood test, which detects the amount of hCG in your bloodstream as opposed to the amount in your urine.

Is it possible to get a false negative?

It is important to know that when you first conceive, hCG levels are too low to be detected by a urine test. In fact, it is not until the embryo implants in your uterus that the body begins producing this hormone, and it takes a few more days for your level to reach a detectable amount.

Therefore, it is possible that you may be pregnant but get a negative test result. However, if it has been more than two weeks since your last period, this is not likely.

Is it possible to get a false positive?

A false positive is uncommon and generally occurs only if the test is faulty or you are on certain medications, like fertility drugs. Since urgent care nurses are trained to perform pregnancy testing correctly, human error is not usually a factor unless your sample is contaminated.

If you get a positive result but then seem to get your period a few days later, you may have had what is called a chemical pregnancy. This is when you have a very early miscarriage. This is common, and you should know that nothing you did caused the miscarriage.

Conclusion

When you go to urgent care, the doctors and nurses will see to it that you get the right treatment for your symptoms. This sometimes means taking a pregnancy test so that staff can be sure you receive appropriate care. The urine test is a quick, easy, and safe way to determine whether you have the hormone in your system that indicates pregnancy.

If you are having any severe or worrisome symptoms of illness and are unable to see your primary care doctor due to lack of availability or it being after hours, contact urgent care.

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