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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Pregnancy Test May Also Show Miscarriage Risk

While it's not marketed for it, this new type of Clearblue pregnancy test can also be used to indicate a woman's risk of miscarriage. (Amazon.com)

While it’s not marketed for it, this new type of Clearblue pregnancy test can also be used to indicate a woman’s risk of miscarriage. (Amazon.com)

A new pregnancy test for sale in American pharmacies takes “home testing” to a whole new level — the results show not only whether a woman is pregnant, but about how far into the pregnancy she is. An unintended aspect of the test is that it might be able to measure the risk of a miscarriage.

The test is called Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test With Weeks Estimator. It’s been available in Europe since 2008. At the end of August, the Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in the U.S., and it’s now hitting store shelves.

Usually a pregnancy test just reports whether a woman is pregnant or not buy measuring the levels of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a woman’s urine.

The Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test With Weeks Estimator shows a result indicating a woman has been pregnant for two to three weeks. (Clearblue)

When a pregnant woman takes the Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test With Weeks Estimator, she would see “Pregnant 1-2,” “Pregnant 2-3″ or “Pregnant 3+” on a little digital screen, indicating how far along she is in the pregnancy.

While it’s not marketed for it, the test can also be used to indicate if a woman is at risk for a miscarriage. The British blog The Alpha Parent writes, “a lot of women use the test as a reassurance tool to indicate that their pregnancy is progressing as it should be.”

It’s estimated that between one-third and one-fifth of early pregnancies end in miscarriage. One of the key warning signs is that the woman’s hCG level doesn’t rise rapidly the way it should in early pregnancy. So for example, if a woman has tested positive for pregnancy and does not get a “3-plus weeks” reading after three weeks or more of pregnancy, she might be at risk.

While it’s not marketed for that use, Dr. Michael Zinaman, who is on the Clearblue advisory board and is the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston, told the host of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog, Carey Goldberg, that it could be used in that way.

“A week later after your missed menses, you would expect that this test is going to show — in normal pregnancies — a rising titer,” Zinaman said. “Your result will be two to three [weeks] — it will be the next result. So, to the degree you do not see that, women should take caution and suggest that maybe ‘my pregnancy is not progressing as expected,’ and perhaps notify their doctor.”

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  • Ralph

    The best part is…knowing how many weeks pregnant can help you guess paternity!

    • Wondering lately

      Ya if you’re a hoe!

  • Suzannah Brbich

    Just thought I would clarify as I didn’t see it in the article (I may be blind) the 1-2 weeks, 2-3 etc, is from conception. The doctors will add 2 weeks as they go from your last period. So 1-2 is 3-4 weeks pregnant, 2-3 is 4-5 weeks pregnant and 3+ is 5+ weeks pregnant.

    • careyg

      Thank you, Suzannah!! That’s right — they consider it 1-2 weeks or 2-3 weeks or 3+ weeks from ovulation, which is pretty close to conception, and the usual dating by doctors is from your last menstrual period, which is usually a couple of weeks earlier — sorry I didn’t clarify that! All best — Carey

  • http://www.negativepregnancytest.com/ Negative Pregnancy Test

    The more information a woman can get about her pregnancy is always a positive +.

  • ABC

    Ugh, not good news for me. I don’t know when I conceived, but my last AF started 12/5 (not regular) I had a m/c that started on 11/17.
    Now 1/22 I’m still getting 1-2 weeks on this test.

  • lisa

    Hi if I was about 7 weeks, would the clearblue test read 7 weeks or can it only read up to 3 plus weeks of pregnancy?

  • lisa

    I am not clear on this… From what the information is telling me, if the test read 3 plus weeks it may mean that I am anywhere about 3 to 5 plus weeks, but what if I am about 7 weeks or more, my question is will the clearblue test still say 3 plus weeks or will the week numbers go up in tearms of the results? For example, will the test result in 5 weeks if I am about 7 weeks. Please let me know and thank you for your time.

  • Lisa

    I have so many questions about this test. If I was having a miscarrage and I retested in a few days would the 3 plus weeks go down or would it read a neg (-) result? Also are there any kind of medications, herbs or foods that would give a false result? Can age also result in a false result ? For example, What if someone is 45 years old and on medications, can this result in a poss(+) result?

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