The type of pregnancy test used at the Health Center, other clinics and in home pregnancy kits requires a small sample of urine. The amount of the hormone human chorionic gonadatropin (HCG), a chemical produced by a developing placenta and excreted in th e urine, is then measured. Most tests can detect this hormone (and thus pregnancy) as early as ten days from conception, which may be before a period is actually missed. A test done earlier than 10 days after the sexual encounter involved may not be accurate.
Through the Health Center
Free, confidential pregnancy testing is available at the Health Center 24 hours a day. This is a walk-in service, and the results of the test are available within minutes. The test results become part of your confidential medical record.
Through Peer Health
To provide anonymous pregnancy testing at the Health Center, Peer Health educators trained in pregnancy testing procedures and basic pregnancy options counseling are available by appointment. An educator will accompany you to the Health Center and serve as an intermediary between you and the nurse. Pregnancy tests done through Peer Health will not appear on your health record unless you decide to speak to a health professional. Check the Daily Advisor for the name and number of an educator or call Peer Health at 597-3140 to make an appointment. The test can usually be done within 24 hours of a request, and results of the test are available within minutes.
At North Adams Family Planning
Pregnancy testing is also available at North Adams Family Planning, 85 Main Street, North Adams. There is a charge for the test, which is usually done while you wait. Call them at 663-8846 for an appointment or further information.
Home Pregnancy Tests
Over-the-counter (non-prescription) home pregnancy testing kits may be purchased from local drug stores for about $15.00. When the directions are followed precisely, these kits can provide accurate results within half an hour. A positive result should be confirmed with a health care professional.
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