What you need to know about pregnancy testing!
What you need to know about pregnancy tests
Whether you are trying to have a baby or it’s unexpected every woman wants to know if she is pregnant or not. So, it is not surprising that the science behind pregnancy testing is pretty accurate. You can go into any pharmacy, buy a test, follow the instruction, and in minutes know whether you are pregnant or not.
If you have questions about how pregnancy tests work and what is available, you are invited to continue reading.
How is a pregnancy test done?
How a pregnancy test works is pretty simple. When a woman becomes pregnant, her body produces a very special hormone. This hormone is human chorionic gonadotropin also referred to as HCG. The hormone is produced immediately after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. So finding out if you are pregnant is pretty simple. All you need is to check is her HCG levels to discern whether she is pregnant or not.
How many types of pregnancy tests are there?
There are two types of early pregnancy tests. Tests that require urine and those that require a blood sample.
1) URINE PREGNANCY TESTING
This test is usually the first test that is performed to determine if you are pregnant. You can take it at home or at your doctor’s clinic.
If a woman misses her period for about a week or more and has reason to suspects that she is pregnant, her next step would be to buy a pregnancy test that can be used at home. There are several brands on the market and they can be easily obtained at any pharmacy.
Of course, accuracy is always an important factor for any test. Accurate results depend on a few factors:
Following instructions- If you buy a test, it is worth your while to read all the instructions and follow them to the letter.
Timing of the pregnancy test- You should take the test one week after your period. Or if you don’t want to wait to see if you will miss a period, you can take the test 2 weeks after the date you think you may have conceived.
Pregnancy test sensitivity- Tests may vary in sensitivity. However, most urine pregnancy tests have an excellent accuracy rate of 98%-99%.
Of course, you will want to visit your doctor to confirm your results and find out what other tests you make need to do.
2) BLOOD PREGNANCY TESTING
Blood tests are usually performed by a qualified doctor. These tests are even more accurate than urine pregnancy tests since they check for HCG levels in your blood. They also offer earlier detection than home pregnancy tests. The only drawback is that you need to wait.
You may get the result with the day or maybe the following day.
You have 2 options when it comes to these tests.
HCG TEST (QUALITATIVE)
This test simply checks whether there is HCG present in your blood. So if they find HCG, your result will be positive. If they don’t find HCG, then your result is negative and you are not pregnant.
HCG TEST (QUANTITATIVE)
As the name suggests, the quantitative HCG test measures how much HCG is present in your blood. It is sensitive enough to measure very low HCG levels. This test can also give you an idea of how far along you are in your pregnancy.
HOW DO I USE A PREGNANCY TEST AT HOME?
It is recommended that you do your pregnancy as soon as you get up in the morning. Using the first-morning pee improves the accuracy of your test.
We encourage you to read all instructions that come with your home pregnancy test. Some tests require that you hold the stick directly into your pee stream and then let it sit for a few minutes. Some tests ask you to collect your urine in a cup and then put the pallet in the urine.
Also, check the expiration date of your test. An expired test may not give accurate results.
WHAT IF I GET A POSITIVE TEST AND A NEGATIVE URINE TESTS?
You may do a pregnancy test several times and get varying results. If this occurs make an appointment to visit your doctor to clear up any confusion. After proper evaluation, your doctor will deliver conclusive results.
As you can tell, pregnancy tests (urine or blood) are very accessible. This is one test that you do not have to wait very long for. If you wish to confirm your pregnancy, you may speak to our doctor today!
- Morse, J. E., Calvert, S. B., Jurkowski, C., Tassinari, M., Sewell, C. A., & Myers, E. R. (2018). Evidence-based pregnancy testing in clinical trials: Recommendations from a multi-stakeholder development process. PloS one, 13(9), e0202474. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202474
- Olszynko-Gryn J. (2017). Thin blue lines: product placement and the drama of pregnancy testing in British cinema and television. British journal for the history of science, 50(3), 495–520. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007087417000619
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