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Pregnancy: Facts, Stats & Why Accurate Testing is Important

Jul 22, 2019

Pregnancy: Facts, Stats & Why Accurate Testing is Important

Pregnancy signals an exciting, often nerve-wracking life change for new parents, not matter how prepared they may be. Although having children is not a rare event, there are many facts and statistics that aren’t as commonly known. Not to mention, some people are unaware of the importance of pregnancy testing being performed by a physician to help ensure a healthy mother and baby.

Pregnancy Facts

Pregnancy is a very individual experience. Some women will have certain symptoms, while others will have none. However, there are commonalities amongst all cases:

  • Pregnancy lasts an average of 280 days.
  • The mother’s blood volume increases 40% – 50% during pregnancy to help with the extra oxygen required to support a healthy pregnancy.
  • The uterus expands quite a bit during pregnancy. During the first trimester, it is about the size of an orange. By the third trimester, it is roughly the size of a watermelon.
  • Mothers may begin to produce breast milk as early as 14 weeks into pregnancy.
  • At age 30, even the healthiest of couples has about a 20% chance of conceiving each month. By age 40, that decreases to 5%.

Pregnancy Statistics

In the United States in 2017, there were 3,855,500 births, and the average age for women to have their first child was 26.8. September in the U.S. is known as the busiest month for births on average, a statistic that has been steady for the past two decades. There are actually a few reasons this may be:

  • Holiday Season: Because most individuals have time off around the winter holidays, it becomes a more popular conception time. Assuming a full-term pregnancy, the baby would then be born in September.
  • Conception Choice: It is possible that couples plan out conception to when the baby would be due. Most tend to try and avoid holidays (such as Christmas, New Year’s, and 4th of July) so their child’s birthday would not correspond with said holiday. Of course, things don’t always go as planned, and conception timing can be a tricky thing to get right.

Even though September births are the most popular, that doesn’t mean babies aren’t born all year long. In fact, popularity can be drilled down to the date. Interested to see how many births there were on average on your birthday? Check out this data table that has averaged out the number of births on each day from 1994 to 2014.

Importance of Accurate Pregnancy Testing

Knowing if you’re pregnant is very important, as there are activities you may participate in during your daily life that are unhealthy or dangerous for a growing baby. If your period is late, it is wise to take an at-home pregnancy test, which is a simple urine test. These work by detecting the pregnancy hormone hCG, some of which can do so the day of your missed period. When used correctly, home pregnancy tests are about 99% accurate

If an at-home test comes back positive, or you receive a negative result but have still not had a period after a week, contact your doctor for a blood test. These can test for much smaller amounts of hCG, and, although urine tests can be 99% accurate, blood tests are even more so, providing you with the peace of mind and answers you need.

Knowing whether you are pregnant is vital for you and your baby’s health. You can work with your doctor on a prenatal health plan, including diet and exercise, and know that it’s time to steer clear of certain things or activities, such as certain medications, alcohol and smoking.

If you think you may be pregnant, don’t wait. Visit us at one of our convenient area locations today for a blood test and know for sure.

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