Why Women Are Using This Test To Predict Miscarriage

Image via jennycu/Flickr
Image via jennycu/Flickr

 

While chatting with a long-lost friend on Facebook the other day, she let it spill that she was pregnant with her second baby. 

“But don't tell anyone yet!” she begged over instant chat. “You know how I am — I don't want to take any chances, just in case something were to happen…”

It's the catch 22 of a new pregnancy. On one hand, you want to shout out your good news to the world. On the other hand, it can be hard to announce your pregnancy, due to that lingering fear of … what if?

It can be hard to announce your pregnancy, due to that lingering fear of … what if?

MORE: I Think I've Had a Miscarriage  }

Across the board, women all announce their pregnancies differently. They announce it based on their comfort levels. One woman I talked to said she only announces her pregnancies around 10 weeks — “after the first doctor's appointment' — while others share their positive pregnancy tests on all their social media accounts minutes after they take them. 

MORE:  When Should You Announce Your Pregnancy? }

When to announce your pregnancy is a deeply personal decision, but for women who worry about their risk of miscarriage, it can be an agonizing one. Although miscarriage is deemed “normal” by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 15-20% of pregnancies, many women still fear announcing their pregnancy because of the risk of miscarriage, especially if they've had a miscarriage in the past. 

With many doctors and pregnancy-care providers refusing to see women until they are well progressed into their first trimester (I didn't see my doctor until I was 14 weeks pregnant with my third child!), some women are using the new ClearBlue digital pregnancy tests to try to reassure themselves against the risk of a miscarriage. 

According to the ClearBlue website, their new digital Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator “is the FIRST and ONLY pregnancy test that not only tells you if you are pregnant but also estimates the number of weeks. It’s like 2 tests in 1!”

And although it wasn't intended to be used to predict miscarriage, one source reports that women are actually using the test to check for their risk of miscarriage. 

The makers of the test have made it clear that the new digital test was not designed to be a predictor of miscarriage and cautions against unnecessary worry for pregnant women, pointing out that hCg levels can vary, even in a 24-hour span…

The test works by measuring the level of the “pregnancy hormone” human chorionic gonadotropin (hCg) in a woman's urine–the level of hCg increases each week she is pregnant in the first trimester; based on how high their hCg level is, the test spits out a rough predictor of how many weeks along she is. 

What the test makers may not have predicted, however, is women using the test as a rough indicator to the chances of experiencing a miscarriage; if a woman knows that she conceived a month ago, but the test only gives her a “one week” pregnant reading, it may indicate that her hCg levels are falling and that she is experiencing a miscarriage. 

The makers of the test have made it clear that the new digital test was not designed to be a predictor of miscarriage and cautions against unnecessary worry for pregnant women, pointing out that hCg levels can vary, even in a 24-hour span (for instance, hCg levels are naturally lower in a woman's body at night). 

The test also has limits, as it only tells a woman how pregnant she is up to 3 weeks; after that, the test will only predict hcG level that will be interpreted as “3+weeks,” meaning it maxes out when a woman is three weeks, or more, pregnant. 

How do you feel about these new tests? Would you use them in this way or only as intended? 

What do you think?

Why Women Are Using This Test To Predict Miscarriage

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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3 comments

  1. Shannon says:

    I think too many people try to be their own doctor. If you know you are at a higher risk then contact your doctor as soon as you suspect you may be pregnant. Stress is never a good thing as it is, let alone when you are pregnant.

  2. gfeld says:

    I go to the doc right away when I think I am preg b/c history of m/c due to lack of progesterone.

  3. Christina says:

    I think that’s crazy. Everyone is different. And the hormone levels are different during different times. Besides, my doctors office started doing ultrasounds on the first visit. So why not wait. Just tell yourself not to worry and keep your mind busy with other things until then. So not to cause an unessesary miscarriage

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