When You're Scared to Take a Pregnancy Test

How to Feel More at Ease About Taking a Home Test

Taking a home pregnancy test is fairly simple. You purchase a test, commonly referred to as a "pee stick," and, well, you pee on it. That’s not so hard, right?

The truth is that many women find taking a pregnancy test emotionally challenging. Chances are, they are hoping it will go one way or the other. Though the fear of seeing a positive or negative result may vary from woman to woman, the fear of the answer is still usually the same.

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The Longest 5 Minutes: Taking a Pregnancy Test

Fear of a Negative Test Result

For those fearing a negative pregnancy test, there may have been years of trying attached to the stress of taking the test. They may have undergone expensive fertility testing. Even beyond that, simply wanting to be pregnant is enough to have a woman ask herself "am I pregnant?"

Before you take the pregnancy test, you have the opportunity to dream. You can continue to fantasize about being pregnant. You can plan for a new baby in your life, even decorating nurseries, and picking baby names in your mind. This place can be fun and safe. But actually taking the pregnancy test gives the definitive answer—either you get to stay in this positive dreamland or you have to accept a reality where the test is negative.

Fear of a Positive Test Result

Perhaps you are in the other camp, and you would prefer that the pregnancy test result comes out negative. This means that in your fantasy, you're not pregnant and your life will stay the same. You will not have to worry about late nights with a crying baby or considering your options; instead, you will likely just make sure to be careful about not needing to take another pregnancy test anytime soon.

So, what will push you over the edge to take the pregnancy test? Ultimately, it’s the need to know the truth and determine what your next move will be.

There can be harm in not taking a pregnancy test. If there is a good chance you could be pregnant and you're not watching what you eat, refraining from harmful practices, and not seeking vital prenatal care, you may be increasing your risk of an unsafe pregnancy. The sooner you know whether you are pregnant, the better off you will be.

So how do you overcome these fears and move to action?

Have a Plan

Knowing what you will do, no matter the outcome, is the best idea—even if it is a short-term plan of finding the right person to tell and talk to about the results.

Time the Test Accordingly

If you're anxious about the potential result of a pregnancy test, it’s especially important to take the test at the appropriate time to get the most accurate results and to avoid a false negative. While there are many early detection options, home pregnancy tests are most accurate after your first missed period.

Take the Test With a Buddy

Don’t try to take a pregnancy test alone. Ask a good friend or your partner to be there for emotional support. Having someone with you to help hold your hand or even read the test results can make the whole process easier.

Don’t Panic

No matter what the result is, panicking will only make things worse. Refer back to the plan you started with in the first place. Remember that it’s also OK to do nothing for a bit. Find someone who can help you, be it a trusted provider, your partner, a therapist, or a friend. You may want to have someone to talk to, either personally or professionally, or perhaps even both.

What Happens Next?

Do you need to see your doctor or midwife? Will you need a pregnancy test confirmed? Will you need to ask for testing or treatment? There are places you can go to discuss all of your options for your pregnancy.

The bottom line is that not testing will not change the outcome of the pregnancy test. You are either pregnant or you’re not. Not taking a pregnancy test doesn’t help what you can't control. If you are pregnant, finding out sooner will be helpful for getting the care you need and making the best choices for you and your family.

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