Tried And True Pregnancy Tests With Proven Accuracy
Because of the lack of scientific research, we cant determine the accuracy of the above homemade pregnancy tests. They are urban myths.
When it comes to a subject as emotive and potentially life-changing as pregnancy, youre better off using one of the accurate pregnancy tests out there. These include drugstore-bought urine tests and blood tests at your doctors office. Pregnancy tests are also available online.
In general, home pregnancy tests can be used the day after you miss your period. Some early detection pregnancy tests can be used earlier than that. Drugstore home pregnancy tests claim to be about 99 percent accurate.
Pregnancy tests are more accurate when the first urine of the day is used. Your pregnancy test wont be very accurate if it has expired, so its important to check the expiry date. Its best to use multiple pregnancy tests for a more accurate result. If the results are conflicting, call your doctor.
Wondering if youre indeed pregnant? Consider some of these early symptoms of pregnancy:
- a missed period
Early Signs Of Pregnancy
- Slight morning nausea
Depending on whether a positive pregnancy test would be good or bad news, symptoms like these may fill you with dreador excitement. But heres the good news: pregnancy symptoms do not mean you are pregnant. In fact, you can feel pregnant and not be pregnant, or not feel pregnant when you really are expecting.
How To Know If Im A Few Days Pregnant
The most characteristic sign that makes you suspect that you are pregnant is delayed menstruation, and it is because an egg has been fertilized by a sperm and therefore will not be expelled like the rest of the months. The other symptoms that may occur are similar to those that occur days before your period subsides.
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Do Whats Best For You
The two-week wait is its own kind of mind game. It requires the specific type of strength and hope that so much of the fertility journey asks of you. And sometimes, the waiting can be more unbearable than the risk of a false test result. So if you need something tangible to hold onto while you wait for your beta hCG blood test, take an early detection at-home pregnancy test, but take the results with a grain of salt. If testing early is going to help prepare yourself for the newsgood or badthen try to be at peace with that decision. Sending all of the big fat positive vibes your way this cycle!
Brighid Flynn is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and puppy. She is just beginning her journey toward motherhood.
How Early Can Home Pregnancy Tests Show Positive Results
Since the earliest recorded history, women have had a strong desire to know whether they are pregnant as early as possible. The body goes through countless changes in the first trimester, and one of the first indicators is a change in the hormones that leave the body through urine.
Ancient Egyptians relied on a form of urine testing to determine pregnancy status way back in 1350 BCE. A woman urinated daily on wheat or barley seeds and if the plants grew, it meant she was pregnant. Modern-day validation suggests that test was about 70% accurate in detecting human chorionic gonadotropin , a hormone produced by a womans body soon after implantation of a fertilized egg inside the uterus.
Thankfully, urine-based pregnancy tests have evolved substantially. Women now have access to advanced tests that can detect a pregnancy as early as eight days after ovulation. But while many home pregnancy tests are marketed as simple and effective, getting accurate results comes down to how early in your ovulation cycle you take the test.
Ovulation generally occurs around day 15 of a 28-day cycle. In a normal pregnancy, an egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube and then travels into the uterus, where it implants in the uterine wall. After implantation, production of hCG starts from cells in the developing placenta . Trace levels of hCG can be detected as early as eight days after ovulation.
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The Pros And Cons Of Testing Early
Your fertility specialist might ask you not to take an at-home pregnancy test and to wait until you go in for the blood test, but, lets face it, waiting is hard! And youve certainly done plenty of it so far. So, lets look at some of the pros and cons of at-home testing.
The obvious pro: you might get your results sooner!
The cons list is a little longer, but you can weigh the options yourself and find peace in at least having all of the information. The biggest con is that an at-home test after an IVF transfer can provide false results, either negative or positive.
Some of your fertility medicationsfor example, your trigger shotmight contain hCG, which can yield a false positive in an at-home test following a fresh embryo transfer. Because this is the hormone at-home pregnancy tests look for in your urine, its possible to get a false positive, especially if the test is performed too early. Conversely, your hCG levels may have gone down following egg retrieval, and you might take the test before your body naturally produces enough hCG to be detected in early pregnancy, resulting in a false negative.
Another possible con is simply user error. In other words, you may take the test incorrectly and get an invalid result. Lastly, and possibly the most heartbreaking scenario, is that you get a positive at-home pregnancy test and then suffer from a chemical pregnancy or an early miscarriage.
How Accurate Are Pregnancy Tests
If you read the instructions carefully, most tests promise 99% accuracy on the day of your missed periodbut not for early results. If you expect your period on Wednesday, Thursday would be the day of your missed period. Tests tend to be more accurate after your missed period. Likewise, first morning urine may be more concentrated and detect hCG more accurately.
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How To Read Your Urine Pregnancy Test Result
After the test stick has been in contact with the urine for 5 seconds, hold the test stick with Absorbent Tip pointed down and put the Overcap back on. Place stick on a flat, dry surface with the Result Window facing up.
The clock symbol will begin to blink about 30 seconds after urine is applied. This means the test is working.
After about 3 minutes, an unmistakable YES+ or NO- appears on the Display Screen. If a “?” appears or the screen goes blank, an error as occurred. Retest using another FIRST RESPONSE Digital Pregnancy Test, carefully following all instructions.
YES+ shows on the Display Screen. This means that test detected the pregnancy hormone in your urine.
Please see your healthcare professional to confirm this result.
NO- shows on the Display Screen. This means no pregnancy hormone was detected in your urine at this time.
CAUTION: Although you may not be pregnant, it could also be too early to tell. For instance, your urine may not have enough of the pregnancy hormone to be detected, yet. If you do not get your period within 7 days, retest with another FIRST RESPONSE Digital Pregnancy Test. If you receive another Not Pregnant result and your period still hasnt started, call your healthcare professional.
What Do The Results Means
Your results will show whether you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, it’s important to see your health care provider as soon as possible. You may be referred to or may already be receiving care from an obstetrician/gynecologist or a midwife. These are providers who specialize in women’s health, prenatal care, and pregnancy. Regular health care visits during pregnancy can help ensure you and your baby stay healthy.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
When You Should Get A Pregnancy Blood Test
A pregnancy blood test at your doctors office is another way to confirm a pregnancy.
The blood test can detect the pregnancy earlier than an at-home urine test eight days after ovulation is the earliest a blood test could detect a pregnancy, says Dr. Merhi.
Should you receive a positive at-home pregnancy test result, your doctor will often perform an in-office blood test to confirm the presence of HCG. This and additional blood tests also provide additional information about your health and the health of your pregnancy.
Blood tests are also needed to check for complications of pregnancyfor instance, if you are at risk for ectopic pregnancy , miscarriage or an abnormally progressing pregnancy, says Dr. Culwell. because they can measure whether your pregnancy hormone levels are progressing normally or decreasing.
Should you experience a miscarriage, HCG can remain in your body for a few weeks, and additional tests taken in the weeks following can lead to a false-positive result, says Dr. Merhi.
When Should I Call My Doctor About A New Pregnancy
If youve missed your period and gotten a positive pregnancy test, your next step will be to call your healthcare provider for your first appointment. While scheduling, your provider may ask if you have already started taking a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid. Prenatal vitamins are important in early pregnancy because they help in the development of your babys neural tube. The neural tube will become your babys brain and spine. Many healthcare providers recommend that anyone who could become pregnant take folic acid at all times.
If youre planning a pregnancy, a preconception appointment with your healthcare provider is a good place to start. A preconception appointment is especially important if you take medication for a chronic illness or have other medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or lupus.
During this appointment, your provider will discuss any current medical conditions, as well as your general health before pregnancy. This appointment is meant to get you into the best place for a new pregnancy.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/26/2022.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
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What Do The Results Mean
If you have what you believe is a false resultwhether negative or positiveits best to contact your healthcare provider.
If youre experiencing early signs of pregnancy or if youve had unprotected sex, there is a chance youre pregnant. You can take a second home test or visit a healthcare provider who can confirm the results with a blood or diagnostic test.
How To Tell If Your Period Is Late
Many people have irregular menstrual cycles, either longer or shorter than others. Sometimes its hard to remember the exact date of your last period and when to expect your next period. Between 10% and 20% of pregnant people get a negative pregnancy test because they test too early.
Tracking your cycle can help you know a few things: when you ovulated, the first day of your last period, when to expect your next period, and a general idea of the length of your cycle.
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How Concentrated Your Urine Is
Pregnancy tests used to recommend using your first pee of the morning, when more hCG is present. But now they’re sensitive enough to work at any point in the day, although it does help if you’re taking the test early.
Similarly, drinking too much liquid beforehand could dilute your urine and affect the results.
What Are The Advantages Of Using A Home Pregnancy Test
There are quite a few advantages to using a home pregnancy test, including:
- Pregnancy tests are inexpensive.
- Theyre easy to use.
- Home tests provide results quickly.
According to pregnancy kit manufacturers, most at-home pregnancy tests are 97% to 99% accurate when you use them as instructed. Positive results can be trusted, but you can get a falsely negative result very early in pregnancy.
Blood tests tend to be more expensive and, for many women, the wait for an appointment can be difficult. Home tests allow you to quickly know if youre pregnant shortly after conception.
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What Are The Risks And Benefits Of Ultrasound Imaging
Transvaginal ultrasound requires covering the ultrasound transducer in a plastic or latex sheath, which may cause a reaction in women with a latex allergy.
Ultrasound imaging is constantly being improved and refined. As with any test, the results may not be completely accurate. However, an ultrasound can provide valuable information to parents and health care providers, helping them manage and care for the pregnancy and the baby. In addition, ultrasound imaging gives parents a unique opportunity to see their baby before birth, helping them to bond and establish an early relationship.
Fetal ultrasound is sometimes offered in nonmedical settings to provide keepsake images or videos for parents. While the ultrasound procedure itself is considered safe, it is possible that untrained personnel may miss an abnormality or give parents false assurances about their babys well-being. It is best to have an ultrasound performed by trained medical personnel who can correctly interpret the results. Talk with your doctor or midwife if you have questions.
What Type Of Test Is Best
If youre testing on the first day of a missed period, it doesnt matter very much which test you usemost currently marketed tests are reliable and will yield a positive result for 98 percent of pregnant women. But if youre testing early, you should use a more sensitive testjust remember that pregnancy tests are less likely to be accurate when taken before your missed period.
The more sensitive the pregnancy test, the more likely it is to detect pregnancy early. But more sensitive pregnancy tests are also more likely to return false positives.
In a study that tested six over-the-counter pregnancy tests, First Response and Answer were the most sensitive. Clear Blue Easy and Walmart Equate tests were the least sensitive.
- It’s not recommended to take a pregnancy test before 12 14 days past ovulation
- Repeat the test two days later, regardless of the results
- Make sure to use a high-quality pregnancy test
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Pregnancy Test
A urine pregnancy test shows whether HCG is present. HCG indicates pregnancy. A pregnancy blood test also shows the amount of HCG. If your blood tests show a very low amount of HCG, it could mean you have an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy that grows outside the uterus. A developing baby can’t survive an ectopic pregnancy. Without treatment, the condition can be life-threatening for a woman.
How To Tell If A Test Is Not Needed
Some people experience menstrual irregularities, breast changes, and other pregnancy-type symptoms without being pregnant. These can happen for a variety of reasons.
Possible biological factors include hormonal changes due to another health condition. Psychological and social factors can sometimes play a role.
In rare cases, a person can have pseudocyesis, sometimes called false pregnancy, where they firmly believe themselves to be pregnant and have signs of pregnancy without being pregnant. This condition is not well understood and can happen for various reasons.
Anyone who has signs of pregnancy but is unlikely to be pregnant, for example, because of menopause, should seek medical advice. They may have a health condition that needs medical treatment.
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When To Take Early Result Pregnancy Tests
Early pregnancy tests can be used several days before a missed period. These tests are more accurate for people who conceived earlier in their cycle.
If you ovulated a little late, you may have conceived later in your cycle. In this case, there may not be enough hCG for these tests to detect until closer to or after your missed period.
If you received an hCG trigger shot to help with fertility, it’s best to wait two weeks after the shot to take a pregnancy test. The trigger shot can cause a false positive if a pregnancy test is taken before the medication has left your system.
When Is The Best Time In Your Cycle To Test
Although your body begins to produce hCG 7 to 10 days after fertilization, waiting provides the most accurate results. In order to give your body enough time for hCG to build up to a detectable level in your urine by a pregnancy test, it is best to take a pregnancy test about 14 days after fertilization. For a woman who has a 28-day cycle and ovulates 14 days after her last period, this would mean testing on the day you expect your next period if you suspect you are pregnant. For the most accurate results, take a pregnancy test a couple of days after your missed period.
If your test is negative and your period does not start, you still might be pregnant, but your hCG levels are just not high enough to register on the test. Most testing kit instructions recommend you wait one week to take another test however, many women test a few days later. Contact a healthcare professional if you still have a negative pregnancy test or have further questions.
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