An at-home pregnancy test can range from a few dollars to expensive, but Illinois has lots of options for accessing a high-quality test for free. Whether you’re looking to take a pregnancy test for the first time, or wanting to confirm previous results, read on to learn about pregnancy testing and next steps.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

During pregnancy, the body produces a special hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). In early pregnancy, this hormone quickly rises, doubling every two to three days. 

A pregnancy test measures the amount of hCG in blood or urine, but at-home tests utilize urine. Depending on the timing, a pregnancy test can be 99% effective. However, an ultrasound should be performed along with a pregnancy test to gather important pregnancy details.

Why Do I Need an Ultrasound?

There is always the potential for user error with an at-home pregnancy test, and there’s also a chance for a false positive or negative result. The only way to confirm a pregnancy with absolute certainty is to receive an ultrasound. 

During an ultrasound, the technician will search for a viable pregnancy. If one is found, they will determine the gestational age and location–both important factors when considering your next steps.

An ultrasound will also rule out an ectopic pregnancy–a potentially life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube.

How Can Empower Life Center Help?

We offer no-cost services and support related to pregnancy. Here at Empower Life Center, we provide free and confidential lab-quality pregnancy testing and no-cost ultrasounds. You can make an appointment for both here.

What Happens If I Find Out I’m Pregnant?

If the pregnancy test and ultrasound identify you are definitely pregnant, we can share information and resources so that you can have the knowledge you need to move forward.

We know this time can feel uncertain, but we’re here to help. Our caring staff can walk with you during this time.