Pregnancy tests are the most terrible things to have to discuss with a patient. I know it seems odd, but all other diagnosis are either good or bad, or not such a big deal. A pregnancy test on the other hand is life changing, and the results good or bad depend on the person whose test it is.
We have waited on tests hoping for the sake of the young girl that it is negative, hoping for positive results in a patient who has been trying to have a baby. Hoping that they didn’t decrease in levels on a threatened miscarriage.
And then there are the cases you don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Those that are in between, that may have been trying for a baby, or may not have been. So you never know how to say the results. Is a cheerful congratulations in order, or is a positive test not the desired result.
Almost the worst is the 16 year old girl who has come in with their parent after having 5 positive tests at home. They are there hoping that I can tell them differently. In fact, when told that based on their story, she is probably pregnant you almost always get the I was hoping you wouldn’t say that. And with positive test results there are always tears. Tears of joy, tears of regret, but almost always tears.
While babies are a wonderful thing, the positive pregnancy is the first life changing event in the bringing a new baby into the world. Prior to that consequences are in the future. However, with that test the future can no longer be denied.