A pregnancy test is responsible for detecting Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) or the pregnancy hormone. The pregnancy hormone is generated by the placenta, forming and protecting the egg once implanted along the uterine wall, indicating pregnancy’s beginning.
The HCG levels are low initially, but they start to rise with pregnancy before levelling off. One could take a pregnancy test at home or a doctor’s clinic. Either way, it is important to know what kind of test is suitable and how that might work, along with when to take it to have accurate results.
Types of pregnancy test
Urine tests and blood tests are two tests to know about pregnancy.
The home tests are usually urine tests, and they check the pregnancy hormone levels. The levels of HCG or pregnancy hormone change during pregnancy, and urine tests could detect HCG in twelve to fifteen days after ovulation.
Home pregnancy test
Home pregnancy kits give results in five minutes when used correctly, 99% accurate. The general home pregnancy test indicates pregnancy through the change in the colour of the strip or display of a symbol.
These tests are less trusted than urine tests. The quantitative blood pregnancy test checks for the total amount of pregnancy hormones present in an individual’s system and could even indicate the slightest of amounts. The qualitative blood test helps in finding out if HCG hormones are present in the system or not. Blood tests provide results early in pregnancy.
Time to take a pregnancy test
One should wait for at least a day of the missed period to take a pregnancy test. Without the missing periods, it is impossible to detect pregnancy as pregnancy hormone is in the system only when implantation of the eggs occurs.
This implantation occurs only after two weeks of sexual intercourse, and hence test could only pick up HCG hormone after that. A pregnancy test could detect pregnancy easily in the case of regular periods, but if they aren’t regular, then the ovulation tracking option comes into the picture.
Ovulation predictor kit helps in tracking fertilization and finding out about the pregnancy. The best time to take up a pregnancy test is in the morning; at that time, the urine is most concentrated; the test thus can more comfortably detect the pregnancy hormones. Although one could take the test at any time, mornings are preferred over others.
Certain indicators indicate going for a pregnancy test. The major indicator considered is that of missing periods, but there are some other indicators as well-
Breast soreness or fullness
Accuracy of a pregnancy test
As most individuals intend to take a pregnancy test at home, the accuracy of the test is an important aspect. Although many tests claim to be ninety-nine percent sure, some might not be as accurate as they claim to be.
If the test’s result is positive, it is likely accurate, but there might be some discrepancies in negative results. The accuracy nevertheless relies on the correct or incorrect usage of the test.
Most of the tests give correct results on the first day of missing menses, but to be sure of the accuracy, it is suggested that the tests should be taken after one week of missed menses.
The inaccuracy in the test result might arise from the fact that menses aren’t that regular usually for the test taker or that the individual miscalculated the date of menses due for the month.
Some other factors may also be responsible for the inaccuracy of the test or just influencing the accuracy.
If the test is not taken in the morning
The stretch since conception
The period since ovulation
The quickness of fertilized eggs getting implanted
The discipline in following the instructions of the test
The sensitivity of the pregnancy test
Too- Soon for a pregnancy test?
The tests taken at home for pregnancy are mostly accurate in the results, but if that happens, it is because of the untimely test. If the test is taken too soon, the results might be wrong, either positive or negative.
Still, they are usually wrong for negative for detecting the pregnancy hormone requires appropriate time before it could be detected.
At-home tests require urine for bringing out results, so it is important to make sure that urine isn’t mixed with bodily water, and hence the test must be taken one thing in the morning (as mentioned earlier).
Repeating the pregnancy test with another brand or taking it after some time to be certain can give out accurate results.
There are low chances that pregnancy results get interfered with by the medications as there are rarely any medications that a person takes daily, which consist of HCG, which might influence the test results.
In some cases, it might be possible for the pregnancy test to find pregnancy hormones in urine as initially as ten days after sexual intercourse.
There could be chances that periods are missed because of any other health problem, so it is considered best to for the test and then to rely on the same as late as for at least three weeks after the act.
Visiting a Doctor
Though the at-home pregnancy test is quite accurate and can identify pregnancy, it is still advisable to visit a gynaecologist to confirm the pregnancy further and identify the foetal heart rate with the help of an ultrasound. The obstetrician can offer information concerning abnormal or worrisome pregnancy cases.
Pregnancy blood test
Even after an at-home urine pregnancy test, sometimes the individual might find themselves in doubt or have certain reservations. It is better to go for a pregnancy blood test done by a doctor to have final confirmation for pregnancy.
This blood test, along with being a pregnancy test, could tell about other health issues, if any, along with the health of the pregnancy. This kind of test could identify pregnancy only after eight days of ovulation, which is the earliest it could detect.
Further, a pregnancy blood test could give an insight into complications in pregnancy, if any, for example- if the pregnant person is at risk for ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage or any abnormal developments during pregnancy or differently progressing pregnancy.
The blood test could confirm if the pregnancy hormones or HCG are developing normally or declining. The blood test has no chance of giving any false results as it might happen in an at-home pregnancy test when a miscarriage might happen, but HCG stays in the body and leads to false results for a positive pregnancy.
This test could be done in any manner the person finds suitable. Both the at-home and clinical tests are considered reliable enough to follow up the results. Most brands providing at-home tests claim to be ninety-nine percent accurate and reliable.
However, no matter how much claims the company makes, it is still safe to follow the results with a doctor and get professional help. It is also important to follow all the instructions on the pregnancy test properly and to take follow-up tests for further surety within a week of the first at-home pregnancy test.