The pregnancy test is done through the pee or blood for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). A woman’s body makes this hormone after a fertilized egg connects the wall of the uterus.
Generally, this happens mostly six days after fertilization. The level of HCG rises swiftly, doubling every 2 to 3 days.
Results may be shown as a line, a colour, or a symbol like the “+” or “-“sign. Digital tests display the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. It is very important to know that which sign or symbols shows the positive or the negative result.
What is the meaning of a pregnancy test, and how does this work?
In case you get a positive result, it indicates that you are pregnant. This is true, and it doesn’t matter how faint the line or colour or sign is. If the result is positive, you can call your doctor to know about the further steps you need to take.
There are very few chances of getting a false-positive result. The meaning of a false-positive result is that the result will display that you are pregnant, even when you’re not. Sometimes you get a false-positive result when you have blood or protein in your pee. Drugs like tranquillizers, anticonvulsants, hypnotics, and fertility drugs, may cause false-positive results.
A negative test result indicates that you are probably not pregnant. You may be pregnant if any of the following things have happened:
- Test kit pasts its expiry date.
- Took the test in the wrong way.
- Tested too early.
- Pee is too diluted because you drank a lot of fluid just before the test.
- Taking medication such as diuretics or antihistamines.
In case you get a negative result, try retesting within a week to double-check. Home pregnancy tests are suggested to double-check no matter what were your previous results.
If you test twice and you get different results both times, then you should contact your doctor. They will probably conduct a blood test, as it is a good way to confirm your results.
Which forms of pregnancy tests are available?
Mainly there are two types of pregnancy tests which are- blood tests and urine tests.
The blood sample is usually taken at the clinic or hospital, that is, in a doctor’s office, but they are not used as often as the urine tests. Blood tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, near about 6 to8 days after ovulation. It takes a prolonged time to get the result as compared to a home pregnancy test.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF BLOOD TESTS:-
- Qualitative HCG test- This is a test conducted to check for the HCG. It answers the question, whether you pregnant by giving a yes or no. Doctors usually conduct these tests to confirm pregnancy quick as 10 days after conception. Some doctors may detect HCG much earlier.
- Quantitative HCG test- The test estimates the exact amount of HCG present in the blood. and can find even the low-level HCGs. Sometimes these tests help to trace the pregnancy problems.
Doctors may use them in addition to the other tests to foreclose an ectopic pregnancy, when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, or after a miscarriage when the HCG level falls swiftly.
This can be conducted both at home and in a doctor’s office.
Home pregnancy tests can be conducted in private. These tests are easy and quick to use. Mostly it shows accurate results if a person follows all the directions. All these types of pregnancy tests work identically. A woman has to test her pee in one of the following ways:
- Hold the test stick in your urine that is outpouring.
- Gather the pee in a cup and dip the test stick inside it.
You are required to wait for a few minutes before checking the results.
After taking this test, you can assure your results by consulting your doctor, who can even conduct more sensitive pregnancy tests.
How accurate are pregnancy tests?
Urine home pregnancy tests are about 99% accurate. Blood tests are more accurate.
The accuracy of home tests depends on the following:
- How closely a person follows the instructions.
- When you ovulate and how early the egg implants.
- How early after you take your test after pregnancy
- The sensitivity of the pregnancy test
What is the best time in your cycle to take a pregnancy test?
Generally, the pregnancy test is conducted when a woman misses her period. Some pregnancy tests can spot HCG before a woman misses her period. Results will be more accurate if a person waits until the first day of a missed period.
The best time to conduct a pregnancy test is when your period is late. It will help you to avoid false negatives. If you are a person who is not maintaining the fertility calendar, proper pregnancy test timing is a good reason to start maintaining one.
If your cycles are irregular or you don’t note your cycle’s date, then do not take a pregnancy test until you have passed the longest menstrual cycle you usually have. For example, if your cycle ranges from 30 to 37 days, then the best time to take a test would be day 38 or later than that.
Another thing to consider is whether you know if your period is even late. According to the FDA, out of every 100 people between 10 and 20 will not get a positive test result even if they are pregnant if they conduct their test just after their missed period.
Therefore, the best time to take a pregnancy test is when your period is late, as it will help you get accurate results.
Which is the best time in a day to test your pregnancy?
The time of the day when you should take a pregnancy test does matter to some extent. It is recommended to take the pregnancy test in the morning as it helps to get accurate results. This is mostly correct if your period is not yet late or if your period is only a couple of days late.
Home pregnancy test works by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the urine. Unless you get up in the night to pee often (or drink water throughout the night), your urine is more concentrated when you first wake up. It means that the amount of HCG is a bit higher, and the chances of a positive result increase if you’re pregnant.
Where can a person get a home pregnancy test?
Anyone can buy a home pregnancy test kit from a drugstore without a prescription. The price depends on the brand you are purchasing. But most of the tests are not very expensive.
What are the pregnancy symptoms when you should take the test?
Some women decide to take a pregnancy test because they have early pregnancy symptoms, which include the following:
- Frequent urination
- Breast tenderness
- Mild cramps
- Very light spotting
- Food cravings
- Sensitivity to smells
- Mood swings
- Slight morning nausea
- Metallic taste
The best time to take a pregnancy test is the day after the expected period and during the morning hours, and with the first urine of the day.
In the event of a negative test result, you may take a test again within a week and if you get different results, then you should consult your doctor. A negative impact can drag you into depression, so you shouldn’t waste money on extra tests, and rather you should wait until your period is late.
Antara Chowdhury is a Content Marketer and Strategist with 6 years of experience. She is Master degree holder in Journalism and wants to explore everything she can write on.