Since the days when women had to wait for the rabbit to die to find out if they were pregnant (did they ever really do that?), pregnancy tests have evolved over the years. The latest ones to hit the market are so advanced, they can even tell you how many weeks along you are. As cool and convenient as that is, however, these advanced tests could end up creating more stress for women.
Apparently one of the unintended uses for the new Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test could also be for a woman to gauge her miscarriage risk. According to WBUR, many women in Europe where the test was first available (it only went on sale in the U.S. September 1) use it to see if the pregnancy is progressing properly. For example, if the test shows they're 1 to 2 weeks pregnant one week, and the next week it doesn't show 2 to 3 weeks, then they may be at risk for a miscarriage since the test measures hCG, and hCG levels increase in a healthy pregnancy.
Dr. Michael Zinaman, who is on the Clearblue advisory board, told the station:
Now, if your HCG is rising normally, you should progress on this new test from these readings of one to two weeks to two to three weeks to three-plus weeks over time. And if that isn't happening over that timescale, then something may be wrong although ... this is not what the test is intended to be used for.
That's great in some regards I suppose, as women could then bring it to their doctor's attention, but talk about added stress ... and expense.
As someone who was nearly clinically addicted to taking pregnancy tests, the thought of all this new information makes my head spin. As it was, I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on tests throughout years of infertility, and if I could have used them to monitor how well my pregnancy was going too ... I'd probably have gone broke. And I have to admit I even tried to do this a little bit before these advanced tests came out by continuing to pee on sticks to make sure the line kept getting darker. If I'd had actual numbers to compare, I can't even imagine how many I would have taken.
Sure, it's great if you get a little reassurance, but for those who don't, this could be just one more stress we don't need. The best thing you can do when you find out you're pregnant is to relax, take care of yourself, and hope that your body takes care of the rest. If you are going to miscarry, there's likely nothing you can do about it, so peeing on a stick every day isn't going to help anyone ... expect the makers of the pregnancy tests who will sell more tests.
Will you/have you used pregnancy tests to try and gauge your miscarriage risk?
Image via Clearblue