How Pregnancy Tests Work

How Pregnancy Tests Work

Pregnancy test are used to detect the presence of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG).

There are Two Types of Pregnancy Test

  • Urine

    • There are 2 ways to perform the test:
      • Dipping the pregnancy test kit into a urine sample.
      • Dropping 2-4 drops of urine sample to the pregnancy kit test.
    • If done correctly urine test are 97% accurate.
    • Can be done at home.
    • Inexpensive
    • Give fast result.
    • Easy to use.
    • Some may get a false negative result if taken too early or if done incorrectly.
    • If you still have the symptoms of pregnancy and a negative result was given by the urine test wait a week to take another test or you can have blood test done.
  • Blood

    • There are 2 types to perform the test:
      • Quantitative Blood test
        • Measures the exact amount of hCG in the blood.
      • Qualitative hCG blood test
        • Provides  a simple yes or no answer to whether you are pregnant or not.
    • Advantages for the Blood Pregnancy Test:
      • Able to detect early pregnancy.
      • Determines the concentration of hCG hormone.
    • Disadvantages for the Blood Pregnancy Test:
      • Expensive than the urine test.
      • Need to wait longer for the result.
      • Needs to be done with a doctor’s order.

How common are false negative pregnancy for urine  tests?

  • Most of the pregnancy test are 97% accurate. A false negative can happen due to test errors.
    • Follow the instructions of the pregnancy test.
    • Read the result within the time frame given to avoid confusions, don’t wait too long to read the result as it may provide a false negative result.
  • If taken too early most likely you will have a false negative result.
    • It is possible that your hormone hCG in your system are too low to get a positive result.
  • Not enough hormone hCG in the urine.
    • Level of hCG decreases if you drank too much water, diluting your urine.
    • It is recommended to take the test in the morning as hCG concentration is higher when you held your urine for awhile.

Is it possible to test positive and not be pregnant?

  • A false positive pregnancy test can be devastating to people who are trying to conceive for a long period of time. Good thing, false positive are rare.
  • Some factors that may provide a false positive result:
    • Reading the result beyond the time frame given on the instruction.
    • Expired pregnancy test kit.
    • Fertility medication increases hCG levels.
    • An early miscarriage.

Do early pregnancy tests work?

  • Early pregnancy tests can never diagnose the presence of the hCG hormone until after implantation.
    • hCG is a hormone produced by the placenta.
    • Placenta starts developing at the time of implantation.
    • Implantation is the stage of pregnancy at which the embryo adheres to the wall of the uterus.

How many days are required to confirm pregnancy?

A week after your missed period, however if you can’t wait until you’ve  missed your period, wait at least a month or two after you had sex.

  • The body needs time to develop detectable hCG level, which takes to 7 – 12 days after successful implantation.

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