Top 10 most frequently asked questions
All Clearblue Pregnancy Tests are more than 99% accurate at detecting pregnancy, when used from the day of your expected period.
Clearblue offers a range of pregnancy tests, now including Clearblue Early Detection Pregnancy Test which can give you results up to 6 days before your missed period. Click here to find out more.
If you take a pregnancy test before your expected period and get a ‘Not Pregnant’ result, there is still a chance that you may be pregnant because the level of the pregnancy hormone was not high enough for the pregnancy test to detect. See the Clearblue Pregnancy Test product pages for details of results of clinical testing with early pregnancy.
I previously tested ‘Pregnant’ but have tested again and got a ‘Not Pregnant’ (negative) result, or my period has started. What does this mean?
All Clearblue pregnancy tests are over 99% accurate at detecting the pregnancy hormone from the day of the expected period. If you get a positive result, you can be confident that you are pregnant. However, it’s possible to get a positive result and find out later that you are no longer pregnant (i.e. you may later get a negative result, or your period may start). Natural loss during the first few weeks of pregnancy, known as ‘early pregnancy loss’, is sadly not uncommon – in fact around 1 in 4 pregnancies end in early pregnancy loss. This can be an upsetting experience that unfortunately happens to a lot of people, but most women can go on to have a healthy pregnancy after an early loss.
Dr Rebecca Brightman, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, talks in more detail about early pregnancy loss in this short video. If you do get unexpected results, ask your doctor for advice.
Whether you are thinking about trying for a baby or trying already, gaining a better understanding about how your body works can be a big help. One in two couples could be trying to conceive on the wrong days of the woman’s cyclei, so we’ve put together some information to help you understand your menstrual cycle and the ovulation process. Ovulation happens when hormone changes trigger your ovaries to release an ovum (egg) – usually 12 to 16 days before your next period starts. You are most fertile on the few days leading up to and including the day of ovulation.
The ova (eggs) are contained in your ovaries. During the first part of each menstrual cycle one of the eggs will be prepared for release from the ovary. As you approach ovulation, your body produces more estrogen. This hormone causes the lining of your uterus to thicken and also creates a sperm friendly environment. The higher estrogen level triggers a sudden rise or ‘surge’ in luteinising hormone (LH) which then triggers the release of the egg from your ovary, this is called ovulation.
Normally, ovulation occurs 24 to 36 hours after the LH surge, and you are at your most fertile on the day of the LH surge and the day after.
The egg survives for up to 24 hours after ovulation which is when it can be fertilised. If fertilisation does not occur, the levels of the fertility hormones decline and the next cycle starts with the shedding of the thickened uterus lining (period).
Although the egg only survives for up to 24 hours, sperm can survive for up to five days. That is why you can still conceive even if you have sex 4 -5 days before the egg is released.
i Johnson SR, Foster L and Ellis J. Human Reproduction (2011) 26: i236
The chances of getting pregnant will vary cycle to cycle and woman to woman and will be dependent on many variables such as the woman’s age, her partner’s age, their general state of health and lifestyle. In a studyiii, the chances of getting pregnant on each of the days during the fertility window were reported and are shown in the graph below:-
iii Wilcox AJ., et al. NEJM (1995) 333: 1517
There are a number of ways that you can find out when you are most fertile, one of the most simple and accurate is by using home ovulation tests such as Clearblue Ovulation Tests and the Clearblue Fertility Monitor.
Clearblue Ovulation Test or Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test help you pinpoint the 2 most fertile days to conceive naturally, by detecting your LH surge.
Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test with Dual Hormone Indicator is the only ovulation test that typically identifies 4 fertile days…2x any other ovulation test. It tracks the changing levels of both LH and estrogen and its smart algorithm adapts to your personal cycle.
Clearblue Fertility Monitor is proven to almost double the chances of conceivingii by identifying typically 6 fertile days. It not only detects the LH surge and pinpoints your 2 peak fertility days, but can also identify the additional days of high fertility leading up to ovulation, by detecting the rise in estrogen. It also stores your cycle information and adapts its testing regime to your personal cycle.
Clearblue also provides a Cycle Tracker to help you plan and track your cycle during the time you are trying to get pregnant.
ii In the first 2 cycles of use. Robinson JE., et al. Fertility and Sterility (2007) 87: 329-334
I've used Clearblue Ovulation Tests for several months and haven't got pregnant. Can I be sure of getting pregnant?
It can take normal, healthy women many months to conceive. There are many reasons why you may not get pregnant, even if you've made love at your most fertile time. So keep trying. If after several months of trying you've had no success, it’s advisable to go to see your doctor to find out more about your next steps.
In the UK, your doctor will usually expect you to have been trying to get pregnant for a year if you are under 35 yrs old or for 6 months if you are 35-40 years old, before he will consider further investigation. If you are over 40 years old then you should ask for advice immediately.
You may also want to learn more about the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. In a study, the Clearblue Fertility Monitor almost doubled the chances of conceiving over the first two cycles of useii. Click here to find out more about the Clearblue Fertility Monitor.
If you want to avoid getting pregnant, then you DO need to use a method of contraception but it doesn’t have to be a ‘hassle’.
There are many different methods to choose from with varying levels of reliability, ease of use, convenience etc. Some of these are ‘long-acting methods’ e.g. IUDs and implants, which are fitted by a doctor and then there is little more for you to do for months or even years. Other methods, such as natural family planning are hormone free, have no side effects and can have the benefit of helping you learn more about your body and your personal menstrual cycle.
The key is to find a method that best suits your needs at this point in your life.
Throughout your reproductive life what you require from a method of contraception will change, as your body, your lifestyle and your life stage change. If you find that your current method is no longer ideal because, for instance, you are suffering from unwanted symptoms related to your contraception, it is difficult / inconvenient to use, it is no longer reliable enough, it doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, it doesn’t suit your partner etc. then it may be time to consider changing. No method is perfect, so you may find after further investigation that in fact there is no better method for you at the moment, but there are many different types of contraception, so it is definitely worth looking into the choices you have.
The definition of ‘natural family planning’ (NFP) is a method of avoiding conception by which sexual intercourse is restricted to the times of a woman’s menstrual cycle when ovulation is least likely to occur. An easy to use natural method of contraception is the Persona Contraception Monitor – click here to find more information on this method.
Other common ways NFP is practised involve using a combination of 2 or more of the following:
a. Calendar (rhythm)
b. changes in cervical mucus
c. changes in the cervix
d. changes in basal body temperature (BBT)
See our Contraception section for more information.