Moms-to-Be Worried About Pregnancy Test’s Reported Inaccuracies
Some pregnant women are concerned that an OTC pregnancy test is conflicting with what their doctors are telling them. Should they be worried, or is this an IRL version of Dr. Google?
For the past few months, I’ve felt really low energy, it’s been difficult to sleep, and I have a sinus infection that I just can’t seem to shake. After spending some quality time with Dr. Google a few weeks ago, I became convinced that I have a vitamin D deficiency. The symptoms seem to match, I live in New England and have barely been outside since last year, and I don’t normally take a vitamin D supplement.
I made an appointment with my doctor and asked to have my vitamin D levels checked. She agreed and sent me to the lab for a blood draw. Because she’s a caring kind of doc, she called me up that night to let me know the results said my vitamin D levels were completely normal.
I didn’t believe her. Why not?
Because Dr. Google is never wrong.
Or is he?
I was adamant about the vitamin D deficiency and was even considering paying for my own test from an independent lab (which I also found on Google), but then I had a mini epiphany this week reading about a new OTC testing kit that can predict how far along women are in their pregnancies. The test is causing controversy because the results some women are getting at home don’t match what their doctors are telling them during prenatal check ups. According to CBS News Los Angeles:
The Clearblue Advanced pregnancy test with a weeks estimator says it can inform a pregnant woman whether she is 1-2 weeks pregnant, 2-3 weeks pregnant, or if she is over 3 weeks pregnant.
The idea, Clearblue says, is to give a woman as much information as possible, apart form the simple answer of whether she is pregnant or not.
However, women, who compare their Clearblue test results with what they’re doctor tells them, find that their feedback is not always accurate. The result for many of these women is that they become worried for the worst.
“More than anything, I was so excited,” customer Monica Asdourian, of Marina Del Rey, told CBS2′s Andrea Fujii. “Then I went to the doctor, and they’re telling me it’s like a two-week difference. So, I was wondering, is the baby not developing correctly?”
When I first read this, my first thought was, ummm… call me crazy, but I would probably trust what my doctor’s opinion over a test I bought at Walmart. But then it hit me: isn’t this conflict between what women are self-diagnosing at home and what they are hearing at the doctor’s office just an IRL version of Dr. Google?
And if it is, what’s the solution to this conflict? I love the easy access of obsessively looking up all my health symptoms on Google, and to be fair, some of the health information I’ve found has been beyond helpful. As I am sure these pregnancy tests can be.
However, I can also now admit that my doctor maybe really does know more than Dr. Google, or any info I can pick up at the store, at least when it comes to me and my health.
What led me to this change of heart? The second phone call my doctor made to me just yesterday letting me know that further testing had shown what’s actually been wrong with me this whole time. I have a mild case of mono.
Thanks, doc. Now that’s not something I could have learned on my own.
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