Home Pregnancy Test

image001Pregnancy tests are used to determine whether you are pregnant or not. Pregnancy tests are designed to detect whether your blood or urine contains the hormone hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). This hormone is produced soon after a fertilized egg has attached itself to the uterine walls. This release of hCG normally takes place, but not always, 6 days after the egg has been fertilized. If you are expectant, your hCG levels continue rising rapidly and double after every 2 or 3 days. Read on to learn how a home pregnancy test works and how you can perform the test correctly.

What Should You Know About Home Pregnancy Test?

1. Sensitivity of Home Pregnancy Tests

There are some home pregnancy tests that are extremely sensitive. They can even detect very low hCG levels in urine. These tests can give a response even a week after the implantation has taken place. Such sensitive tests normally cost more and have a concentration detection level of 20 mIU (about twenty parts per a thousandth of a millilitre). A stock-standard pregnancy test can only produce results when the mIU is about 50.

The home pregnancy test sensitivity is marked on the box. The current most popular tests are currently at 20, 25, 40, 50 or 100 mIU.

2. How Do Home Pregnancy Tests Differ from Tests Performed in a Medical Office?

The tests are often the same. The healthcare providers use urine pregnancy tests the same way you would at home. When blood tests are carried out, they are normally used to tell the amount of hCG that is in the blood and to tell whether the hCG levels are rising or not.

3. How Eearly Can I Take a Home Pregnancy Test?

Even though many home pregnancy tests allege that they are accurate and can test as early as a day after you have missed a period, you should take the test a week after you have missed your period for reliable results. It is important that you confirm whether or not you are pregnant immediately.

4. Different Types of Home Pregnancy Test

There are different types of home pregnancy test available. With most of those tests, you will immerse the dipstick’s end in urine that is in a container for about 10 seconds. The results will be revealed in a few minutes. The results often come as a minus or plus sign, lines or a line, a change in color or the words “not pregnant” or “pregnant” on a screen or strip.

You should be aware that instructions vary between kits. Carefully read the instructions before taking the test. If you have questions about the test or need help interpreting the results you can contact the manufacturer. The instruction package usually has contact information of the manufacturer and sometimes you get a toll-free number.

Home Pregnancy Test Basics:

How to Take a Home Pregnancy Test

Check the Validity

Check to confirm that the home pregnancy test kit has not expired especially if you’ve had it for some months or years. Also, if the test kit was stored in a warm or moist environment, for example the bathroom, chances are it has deteriorated. In that case, you should throw it away and purchase a new one.

Take the Test Properly

To get the best results, you should take the test first thing when you wake up in the morning. This is when your urine has the highest concentration. Make sure that you have carefully read the instructions because some will require you to pee on the stick while others will require you to pee in a cup then use the given dropper.

Display of Results

Display of results also varies. For example, some will show colored lines while others will give you a red minus or plus in a window. There are also digital tests that will tell you the results in words like “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. Most tests have control indicators (mostly a symbol or second line) that will indicate whether that test is valid or not. If that control indicator fails to show properly, it may mean that the test is faulty. When this happens, you can either purchase new test kits or call the manufacturer for a replacement.

How to Take a Pregnancy Test:

Is It Possible to Get a False Result?

The results given by home pregnancy tests are 97% accurate when the instructions given are followed to the letter. If your cycle is irregular, it can be tough to decide when the correct time is to take the test.

False Negative

If you take the test too early, chances are that you will end up with a false negative. A false negative is a situation where you are expectant, but it does not show on the test. This normally happens because your body has not made enough hCG hormones for detection. If the result comes out negative, but you feel that you might be pregnant, you should wait for about three days to test again.

False Positive

Even though they do happen under some circumstances, false positives are not common. The conditions that may result to a false positive include:

  • The pregnancy test kit is faulty or expired.
  • You suffer from a rare medical condition i.e. a tumor that secrets hCG.
  • You are taking fertility drugs that have hCG. These drugs are used during fertility treatments when ovulation is induced.
  • You have had a pregnancy termination or miscarriage over the last 8 weeks.
  • Chemical pregnancy. During chemical pregnancy, there is a fertilized egg that has been implanted in the uterus and has developed enough to give out hCG, but for some reason has stopped developing. Such an early miscarriage takes place when the fertilized egg is not normal thus incapable of developing to an embryo. After the chemical pregnancy, you may experience a heavier period and it may show up a couple of days later than normal.

NOTE: Ectopic pregnancy normally shows as a positive result, but is actually negative because there are low hCG levels. Consult your physician when you start feeling faint or dizzy, have stabbing or sharp abdominal pain in one part of the pelvis or have abnormal bleeding.