Is my girlfriend pregnant?

How to Tell If a Girl is Pregnant

Pregnancy test
Photo © Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Believe it or not I get many questions from men in my mailbox, many are concerned that their partner is pregnant.  The theme is often that the woman is fearful of taking a pregnancy test, whether she’s trying to get pregnant or is praying that the answer is negative.  This is a fairly common feeling and one that often plays out in bedrooms and bathrooms all over the world. I am thrilled to see that partners are joining in and asking questions, so I'm always happy to respond to these enquiries.

 

Here is what I tell them:

It is impossible to really know if a woman is pregnant unless she takes a pregnancy test.  This is most commonly done with a home pregnancy test that uses urine. You can get a pregnancy test at nearly any local grocery store, drugstore, or big box store. You can even order pregnancy tests online from a variety of sources.

The test looks for the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine, which is produced in pregnancy. A home pregnancy test is nearly identical to the ones used in a doctor or midwife’s office and the results should be trusted. 

To ensure that the test is the most accurate it can be, you will want to ensure that you follow all of the instructions written on the pregnancy test. A word of caution about early pregnancy tests that say that they can be used prior to her missed period - they are only as accurate as the hCG available. This means a positive is position, but a negative could still be positive in the days to come.

To prevent this from being a worry to you, be sure she has missed her period. A blood pregnancy test may also be ordered by a doctor or midwife in some cases. This type of pregnancy test is also looking for hCG.

Should She Take a Pregnancy Test?

You should consider a pregnancy test if she has missed her period.

  This is true whether or not she has symptoms, as not everyone has pregnancy symptoms right away, nor do they always start very early in pregnancy.  Other signs of pregnancy can include:

While you can’t force her to take a pregnancy test, perhaps talking to her about the fears she has can help encourage her to test.  Ensuring her that you are there for her, no matter what the result. Perhaps even buying the test for her and even running the test with her can help her. 

Many times couples are worried about the results. If you have been trying to avoid getting pregnant, obviously you are worried about an unplanned pregnancy. If you are trying to get pregnant, you may be worried that you aren't pregnant yet. Either way, the sooner you take a pregnancy test, the sooner that you will know if she is pregnant or if you need to seek medical care for another reason.

If you and the woman in question are no longer together and you have questions about a suspected pregnancy or she has told you that she is pregnant and that the baby is yours, you have a decidedly more complicated time.

You may want to try to figure out when she got pregnant to see if that works dates-wise with your time together. Asking about attending prenatal visits may be helpful. You will need to figure out what paternity laws are in your state. You will need to figure out what your rights and responsibilities are moving forward. This can include talking about paternity testing at various points in the relationship. The best thing that you can do is to be supportive of her and help her along the way.

 See also: How to Take a Pregnancy Test

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