It’s not difficult to understand why a woman would want to take a second pregnancy test to verify that she is indeed pregnant. However, a new survey has revealed that many women are obsessively taking several pregnancy tests.
Let’s face it, finding out that you’re pregnant is a big deal. Whether you were planning the pregnancy or it’s a complete surprise, seeing those double lines on the pregnancy stick is a moment that you never forget.
A recent survey conducted by the UK parenting site, ChannelMum, discovered that the majority of women continue taking home pregnancy tests even after receiving positive results. The site surveyed 1,435 women and found that approximately 62% admitted to taking additional tests after getting their first positive result.
While taking two tests seems reasonable, the survey found that, on average, women are taking six pregnancy tests before accepting that they are pregnant. Further, approximately 100 women, or 7%, report taking ten home pregnancy tests. An astonishing 1 in 20 women admit to checking 16 times or more.
The phenomenon, referred to as “pregnancy test addiction,” seems to be on the rise. When queried about the reasons behind their obsessive behavior, women reported using the tests for reassurance. Many admitted to feeling anxious about the validity of the test or whether or not their pregnancy was still viable.
ChannelMum Founder, Siobhan Freegard said, “Being hooked on pregnancy tests may seem strange, but the majority of mums do it. Seeing the positive sign come up gives mums-to-be a buzz and also helps reassure those who may be nervous about their pregnancy. However, it’s important not to get addicted to continual tests, as they are expensive and unnecessary.”
The North America Pregnancy Testing Market is currently worth $442 million and expected to rise to $576 million by the year 2022. Market forecasters expect the rise in demand to occur as a result of the growing prevalence of infertility disorders and gynecological problems, as well as the increasing age of first-time moms.
With dozens of home pregnancy tests on the market, it’s easy to understand how women are spending a small fortune on confirming their pregnancy. Pregnancy tests have come a long way since the first home pregnancy test hit the shelves in the 1970s.
It seems that women who are obsessively testing might benefit from additional education. Home pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine. hCG is produced by the placenta and appears in the urine as early as 3-5 days after implantation. However, a certain level of hCG must be reached before it is detectable in the urine. As a result, most pregnancy test manufacturers recommend waiting until a missed menstrual period before taking a test.
Further, for those women seeking reassurance that their pregnancy is viable, a home pregnancy test may not be the answer. hCG will be present in the urine even if the baby has not developed; a term deemed a “chemical pregnancy.” A chemical pregnancy is a loss that occurs very early in the pregnancy, usually around the fifth week. While a home pregnancy test will report a positive pregnancy result, the fetus has been unable to develop. Sadly, even after a miscarriage has occurred, pregnancy tests will continue to show a double line until the hCG levels have decreased to an undetectable level once again, which in some cases could take up to a month.
The best bet for women experiencing anxiety or apprehension over their pregnancy is to schedule an appointment with their physician.