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Does Alcohol Affect Pregnancy Tests?

By MomMed | 23 May 2022 | 0 Comments


Pregnancy is a very crucial time in the life of women. How they live during those months directly reflects on the health of their babies. From diet to lifestyle, everything needs to be supervised with ultimate care to get the best results.
 
While restrictions are common during this time, the greatest of all time is alcohol. Despite its thrill, women have to say no to it for the sake of their babies’ health. Though its adverse effects on our physiology and on the development of the fetus are known to all, many do not have a clear idea about its effect on pregnancy tests.
 
In case you ever take a test after downing a glass of wine, this article is going to answer all the questions you might have after that.

 

How Does A Pregnancy Test Work

Pregnancy tests work by measuring the amount of hCG( Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone, whose level shoots up during pregnancy. That stimulates the production of higher quantities of the female hormone progesterone which is required to maintain the inner uterine lining.
 
Over-the-counter pregnancy test kits consist of strips on which women should pee. The strips absorb the urine and based on the level of hCG display the result. A single line is indicative of the fact that the woman taking the test isn’t pregnant. Positive pregnancy results are implied by two lines.
 

Things To Consider While Taking the Test

The most suitable time for taking a pregnancy test at home is the morning. The first urine of the day is more concentrated with hCG and therefore displays positive pregnancy results accurately.
 
With time, as the fluid intake increases, the urine gets diluted and might give a false negative. If you are taking the test at any other time in the day, then make sure to abstain from consuming any fluid or urinating a couple of hours before taking the test.
 
While taking a pregnancy test at home, it is important to know the right time to test. Most women get a false negative even when they are pregnant owing to taking the test too early in their pregnancy. The level of hCG in the bloodstream has to reach a certain level to be detected by the test strips.
 
The hCG surge happens only after the embryo is implanted in the wall of the uterus. This occurs after around 10-12 days of fertilization. So, it can be implied that to get accurate results, the test should be taken at least 21 days after having intercourse.
 
The best way is to check a day after your period is missed. If you suspect being pregnant despite the test showing negative, then either take another test after a few days or consult a doctor. The hCG might be too low to be detected in your previous test.

 

Does Alcohol Have An Effect On Pregnancy Tests

Alcohol has no direct effect on the pregnancy test results. Pregnancy tests measure the level of hCG in the bloodstream and no amount of alcohol can alter that. However, to think that it can have absolutely no effect is not wise either.
 
 As most of us are aware, alcohol makes us dehydrated. This suggests that you are more likely to feel thirsty after consuming alcohol. That urge will have you drink more water which in turn will dilute your urine. This can potentially give a false negative if the level of hCG is not too high.
 
Moreover, if you are taking a test while tipsy, there are more chances of you making errors in the process. You might not follow the instruction properly or understand how to interpret the results. You might not allow the test strip to properly absorb your urine and check for the results before time.
 
In all these cases, inaccurate results are evident. Besides, when you are not in control of yourself, you will have difficulty reacting to any situation that might follow. Therefore, it is best to take the test after you sober up and are in complete charge of your senses.


 

Nevertheless, Avoid Alcohol

Just because alcohol doesn’t interfere with your test results doesn’t mean that you get the green signal to chug your favorite alcoholic beverages till you pass out. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is the most dangerous thing to do.
 
Alcohol can easily cross the placental barrier and reach the fetus, causing irreparable damage to it. From causing mental retardation to other developmental issues, alcohol in your bloodstream increases the fetal mortality rate by several folds.
 
Moreover, most women are already 6-8 weeks along in their pregnancy by the time they find out that they are pregnant. Since that is the time when the vital organs of the babies start developing, circulating alcohol can pose a threat to them. In many cases, alcohol becomes the cause of miscarriage.
 
However, if you have been drinking and find out that you are pregnant, do not panic. Nothing can be done about the alcohol already present inside you. What can be done is to completely give it up from that point and switch to a healthier lifestyle.
 
Though staying away from alcohol during your pregnancy is the best thing to do, most doctors prescribe abstaining from drinking from the time you are trying to conceive. This will not only maintain your fertility but will also prepare your body well for the huge change that is going to come.
 

Conclusion

Alcohol certainly has harmful effects on your body as well as your baby developing inside you. However, if you have been drinking then do not freak out thinking that it might impair your baby. For alcohol to cause noticeable changes in the body, the intake has to reach above moderate. Drinking more than one glass per day becomes dangerous.
 
Doctors mostly do not advise against occasional drinking. Since alcohol affects fertility in women, those who have some underlying health conditions like PCOS(Polycystic ovarian syndrome) might be advised to completely go off alcohol to elevate their chances of getting pregnant. To be on the safe side and not risk your baby in any way, the best thing to d is to give up your guilty pleasure till your little one pops out of you.


 

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