What You Need to Know About STD Testing Before You Make a Pregnancy Decision

STD testing is probably the last thing you have on your mind when you discover you’re unexpectedly pregnant. But you may not realize the negative impact STDs can have on your health. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand that accurate and unbiased information is empowering, and we are here to equip you with the facts you deserve so you can make informed decisions.

STD Testing is Important

In the United States, there are approximately 20 million new STD infections every year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends yearly testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea for all women under 25 who are sexually active. Untreated STDs can lead to infertility, pain, and even cancer. Women age 25 and older should also get yearly STD testing if they have risk factors such as a new partner or multiple partners.

Common Myths About STDs

  • Myth: You will have symptoms if you have an STD: Often, we are alerted to problems or infections in our bodies when we experience pain and other symptoms. However, most common STDs, like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, often have no noticeable symptoms, so you can’t rely on symptoms to warn you there is a problem. As a matter of fact, Chlamydia is called “the silent disease.”
  • Myth: You won’t get an STD if you have only had one partner: You are still at risk of contracting an STD if you have only had one partner because there is no way to know for sure if your partner has been exposed to an STD from a previous relationship. There is also the reality that you can think you are in a monogamous relationship, but your partner is having sexual relationships with others besides you.
  • Myth: You can’t get an STD if you always use condoms: Condoms reduce the risk of contracting STDs, but you can still get an STD even if you use condoms every time you are sexually active.

STD Testing and Abortion

All pregnant women need STD testing in the first trimester of pregnancy, including women who are considering abortion. If you are considering a medical or surgical abortion, it’s vital that you receive STI testing beforehand. If you proceed with an abortion while you have an undiagnosed, untreated STD, you will be at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause the following serious, and some permanent, complications:

  • Scar tissue
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Long-term pain

Reliable Information is Available

We understand how difficult it is to make a decision about an unplanned pregnancy. There is so much to consider as you make one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to face. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we are here to walk with you step by step, so an overwhelming situation feels more manageable.

Make an appointment today for accurate, unbiased information and no-cost services. Our licensed medical professionals and compassionate advocates will listen to you, answer your questions, and empower you, so you can make a decision about your unplanned pregnancy with confidence.

Is it Possible to Have a Negative Pregnancy Test And Still Be Pregnant?

Perhaps you took an at-home pregnancy test, the results came back negative, but you still feel pregnant. Perhaps you have tried even twice; still, you feel pregnant, unsure of the accuracy of your result. You may be wondering if it is possible to have a negative pregnancy test and still be pregnant. The answer, quite simply, is “yes.”

If you’re concerned about the accuracy of your test result, that’s perfectly okay! In fact, at-home pregnancy tests aren’t conclusive, so taking further steps to confirm or deny a pregnancy is important. Let’s explore how to read an at-home test result, how to determine the conclusiveness of your result, and what are the best next steps.

How Do I Read My Test Result?

You have that feeling. Something is just a little “off.” Maybe your period is a day or two late. Maybe you feel more fatigued lately, perhaps more often than not. Maybe you’ve had to pee more often than usual and your mood is a constant roller coaster. Perhaps you Googled common pregnancy symptoms and one or two line up with your recent experience. So, you bought an at-home pregnancy test and took it. How do you read your test?

Classic at-home pregnancy tests have one or two result windows. To confirm that the test works, both provide a reference line. In single-window tests, if another line appears beside the reference line, the result is positive. If the test line remains alone, the result is negative. Two-window tests show the reference line in an entirely separate window. In the adjacent window, a plus sign indicates a positive result. A horizontal line indicates a negative result. Digital pregnancy tests simply say “Yes” or “No.” Every test, however, is slightly different. Read and follow the instructions to the best of your ability for maximum accuracy.

How Conclusive Is My Test Result?

To answer this question, we’ll ask two more! First, when did you take the test? Pregnancy tests are more accurate when administered at least a few days after a missed period. Second, how accurate are pregnancy tests in general? If you followed every instruction and waited for a few days after a missed period, most at-home tests are over 90% accurate. However, they aren’t conclusive.

What Are My Next Steps?

Because pregnancy tests aren’t conclusive, it is possible to have a negative pregnancy test and still be pregnant. What’s next? How can you conclusively tell if you are pregnant? At this time, contacting a trusted pregnancy clinic is your best next step. They can point you in the right direction depending upon your situation.

Willowbrook Women’s Center

Willowbrook Women’s Center is here to answer your questions. With a non-judgmental, welcoming atmosphere, we care about each and every woman who walks through our doors. This is why we provide no-cost pregnancy screenings if you qualify. Call us at 816-244-7824 or schedule an appointment today. We look forward to walking beside you.