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Pregnancy Test

A pregnancy test can help you determine if you are pregnant. This article explains what types of pregnancy tests are available, how a home pregnancy test work, and how accuracy rates of home pregnancy tests. Learn about pregnancy tests here.

Most women find out that they are pregnant through some sort of pregnancy test. Whether they take this test at a doctor’s office or a clinic, or whether the test is one bought over the counter, women take these pregnancy tests to get an idea of whether or not they are pregnant. It is important to note that it is best to take home pregnancy tests at least one week after a missed period for best accuracy. Below are some commonly asked questions about pregnancy tests:

What types of pregnancy tests are there?

First of all, there are two main types of pregnancy test. There is a blood test and a urine test. Even in doctor’s offices, a urine test is commonly used. And, obviously, a blood test can only be had in the office of a health care provider. Both tests are looking to test a hormone known as hCG. This is the pregnancy hormone that indicates that you are pregnant.

Blood tests administered by a health care professional are of two types. One type measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. This is a quantitative test that can find even the smallest amounts of pregnancy hormone. This blood test can determine pregnancy six to eight days after ovulation. Most doctors do not use these tests unless you have a history of pregnancy problems. There is also a qualitative test that checks to see whether the hCG is there. This test is about as accurate as a urine test. Urine tests also check for hCG. These tests are normally most accurate at least seven days after a missed period. 

How does a home pregnancy test work?

Because most women these days use a home pregnancy test to figure out whether or not they are pregnant, they are interested in how these tests work. They work as a way to detect whether or not there is hCG in the urine. The name for this hormone is human chorionic gonadotropin. When a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, the body begins making hCG (which is also called the pregnancy hormone). Each day you are pregnant, the more the hormone builds up. When you use a home pregnancy test, if there is enough hCG in your fluid, the home test will detect that it is there, and you will see the result.

How can the accuracy of a home pregnancy test be assured? 

Because a home pregnancy test checks to see whether there is the pregnancy hormone in your urine, if it is inaccurate, it is most likely to tell you that you are not pregnant when you are. However, when used properly, you will find that home pregnancy tests are remarkably accurate. Here are some things you can do to make sure that you are getting a reading that is as accurate as possible:

  1. Following instructions: First of all, check the expiration date before you buy the pregnancy test. You don’t want an out of date test, since that can affect accuracy. Make sure that you follow the directions on the packaging. Read them carefully, and make sure you understand them before you begin. Waiting ten minutes for your results will normally provide the best accuracy.
  2. Wait to use your test: Next, you need to realize that the small amount of hCG present after the first day of a missed period may not be read by a home pregnancy test. It is a good idea to realize that you should wait a few days to give the hormone a chance to build up in your body before you take the test. Wait at least five days, but seven days is better.
  3. Brand: Some pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. In some cases it is worth it to pay an extra two to six dollars for a test that is more sensitive and possibly more accurate.

If your home pregnancy test comes back that you are pregnant, you should arrange an appointment with a health care provider who can use more sensitive tests to make sure that you are pregnant. Getting early prenatal care can help you have a healthier pregnancy. Realize that your home pregnancy test may show that you are not pregnant, even though you are. If you continue to miss your menstrual cycle even after more than a week, and the pregnancy test is still negative, you should call your doctor. There may be some other problem. Your doctor can help you determine whether you are pregnant after all, or if there is some more serious health issue.

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