Confirming your pregnancy
The most reliable sign of pregnancy for women with a regular menstrual cycle is a missed period. A woman can still experience a shorter or lighter period than normal once falling pregnant.
A pregnancy test ‘looks’ for the hormone Hcg (human chorionic gonadotrophin). This is detected in the urine of a pregnant woman.
A pregnancy test can be done from the first day of a missed period. If it’s carried out any earlier, the test is not likely to be accurate at all.
If a woman’s periods are not regular, the earliest she can do a test is around 21 days from when last she had unprotected sex. For many women, a pregnancy test doesn’t show as positive until her period is at least a week late. A negative result can sometimes happen if the test was carried out too early or incorrectly, even though a woman may be pregnant.
It is best to visit your doctor if you suspect you may be expecting and have a pregnancy officially confirmed with a blood test.