ZocdocAnswersCan pregnancy be detect by a high white blood cell count?

Question

Can pregnancy be detect by a high white blood cell count?

My partner and I are both 28 and we've been trying to get pregnant for a while. I just had some routine blood work done after which the only unusual result was a high white blood cell count. I don't want to jump the gun, but could this unusual reading be the first sign that we're finally pregnant?

Answer

I hate to be the bearer of disappointing news, but change in the white count is not a typical sign of being pregnant. Fortunately there are inexpensive pregnancy tests which are very sensitive which can quickly tell you in your own home whether you are pregnant or not. The white blood cell count is an extremely variable measure between people. One person could have a normal white count of 3 thousand while another person might have a normal count of 9 thousand. Your white count can be high when your body is fighting off an infection. The only test that is specific for being pregnant is the urine (or blood) HCG test. The urine HCG test is the type you can buy at the grocery store. HCG is a hormone released from the embryo shortly after conception that informs the body that its pregnant. This test becomes positive within 2-3 weeks after conception and therefore is the best test we have to detect pregnancy. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN that you plan on using when you get pregnant. Discuss pre-conception health and talk about things you can do to increase the likelihood that you will get pregnant. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.