What Other Kinds Of Pregnancy Tests Are There
Whether in strip or stick form, at home or at the doctors office, urine pregnancy tests all test for the presence of the pregnancy hormone hCG.
If you go to your midwife or doctors office, they may also choose to do a blood pregnancy test, which looks for the presence of the same hormone, hCG, in your blood.
Urine pregnancy tests alone are typically very accurate, so blood pregnancy tests are mostly used only if there is a need to know the exact level of hCG in your system .
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When Is The Best Time To Take A Pregnancy Test
The best time to take a pregnancy test is when your period is late. But some at-home pregnancy tests say they can detect if youre pregnant or not up to five days before your period is due to start. How do they do it? At-home pregnancy tests use the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin to detect pregnancy, and some are more sensitive to hCG than others. So thats why some tests work earlier when you have less of the hormone, while others wont show a positive until later when you have a higher amount.
The best time of day to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning. Your urine is more concentrated in the a.m., so theres more of that hCG in it. You can take a pregnancy tests at other times of the day, though theres more of a chance of an inaccurate result. Also make sure not to drink a lot of water or other liquids, as youll dilute your urine.
When Should You Take A Home Pregnancy Test
Most home pregnancy tests advise you to take the test after you miss your next period. If you have a standard 28-day cycle, youâll be most fertile two to three weeks before your period.
So if you get pregnant during that fertility window, youâll need to wait at least 14 to 18 days after conception to take a home pregnancy test.
If you get a negative result and suspect youâre pregnant, check the instructions on the box. Home pregnancy tests typically recommend retaking the test 5 to 7 days later, when the hCG levels in your body will be higher.
This type of result is called a âfalse negative.â Sometimes you can receive a false negative result if you take a pregnancy test too soon when your hCG levels are too low for the test to detect them accurately.
Moreover, recent miscarriages, fertility drugs, and rare hCG secreting tumors can interfere with the results of at-home urine tests. If you receive conflicting results after taking a home pregnancy test multiple times, doctors recommend a blood test.
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What Are Ovulation Tests
Ovulation tests are urine-based hormone tests that detect changes in luteinizing hormone levels to predict when ovulation is going to occur. LH is the hormone that surges about 24-36 hours before ovulation in order to trigger the ovary to release the egg.
Ovulation tests may be either thin simple urine strips or digital-based tests.
Urine-based tests like Proov Predict have a control line that will instantly turn pink in contact with your urine, proof that the test is valid. The second line is the test line the intensity or darkness of the test line depends on the amount of LH present in your urine.
We always have a little bit of LH in our bodies, regardless of where we are in our cycle, so its not unusual to get a faint pink second line on your strip. This doesnt mean the test is positive! For an ovulation test to be positive, the test line must be as dark or darker than the control line. A test with two identical lines indicates the beginning of the LH surge and that ovulation is approaching.
Digital ovulation tests, on the other hand, use smileys instead of lines to indicate LH levels. When your levels of LH are really low, you will get an empty circle indicating the test is negative. As your follicles grow and estrogen slowly starts increasing, you may start getting a flashing smiley face, indicating you are approaching the surge. These tests are considered positive when there is a solid smiley face.
When You Can Do A Pregnancy Test
You can carry out most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don’t know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period, from as early as 8 days after conception.
You can do a pregnancy test on a sample of urine collected at any time of the day. It doesn’t have to be in the morning.
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Which Pregnancy Test Provides The Earliest Results
First Response and Modern Fertility can both detect pregnancy up to 6 days before, however, its important to note that the accuracy isnt as high. Its still ideal to test after your missed period as well for the best results. Most at-home pregnancy tests can be up to 99 percent accurate on the day of a missed period.
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.
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Other Reasons For Inaccurate Home Pregnancy Test Results
If an accurate test has been used correctly, there are very few occasions when the result may be considered inaccurate. When used correctly, the most common cause of inaccurate test results is if testing is done before there is sufficient hCG present in urine to obtain a positive result. Consequently, women obtain a Not pregnant result if the women test again later in the same cycle, they will obtain a Pregnant test result. Errors mostly arise due to inaccurate estimation by women of the day of their expected period ,. Even if women are sure of the day of their LMP, there can be considerable inter-cycle differences in women, as cycles have been observed to vary by more than 13 days in 30% of women . In some instances errors can also be due to a longer than usual time from ovulation to implantation, as this interval has been observed to vary by up to 6 days in naturally conceived pregnancies . These types of false negative results thus do not indicate that the test is inaccurate but are rather due to womenmisunderstanding when the correct time is in their cycle to perform a pregnancy test, or may be due to variations in time to implantation.
Other less common reasons for misleading results of home-based pregnancy test include the use of fertility drugs containing hCG which, if testing is done too soon after administration, may give a false Pregnant result. The presence of very rare malignancies can also create misleading results.
How Accurate Are Urine Tests
Urine tests or home pregnancy tests are around 97% accurate when done correctly. Home pregnancy tests are great to use because they can be done at home, they are usually low in cost , private, they give a fast result, and are easy to use.
However, if done incorrectly or taken too early, the result can be inaccurate. If you get a negative result and still have symptoms of pregnancy , wait a week and take another test or contact your doctor so you can have a blood test done.
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Best Strips: Pregmate 20 Ovulation Midstream Tests Predictor Kit
Has both pregnancy and ovulation tests
If youre hoping to start a family, its helpful to know when your body is ovulating. Many people assume that women ovulate on a particular day of their cycle, but in reality, it often shifts around a little. Thats why plenty of couples rely on the Pregmate LH Ovulation test to be sure. It works just like a regular pregnancy testyoull need to pee on it and then wait three minutes. If your result is positive, it means youll likely ovulate within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Number of tests: 20 pregnancy / 100 ovulation | Display method: Line | Result time: 5 minutes
Has both pregnancy and ovulation tests
Not intended for early detection
For people trying to conceive, this pack of ovulation and pregnancy tests can be a massive help. You can use the much-loved Pregmate ovulation strips to figure out when the ideal time for intercourse is, and afterward, you can easily determine if you were successful with the pregnancy test strips. This product is no-fuss, accurate, and budget-friendly, making it a no-brainer.
People who purchased this kit loved how easy it was to read their results and track their cycles. A few even called it the best item theyd ever purchased!
Number of tests: 20 pregnancy / 100 ovulation | Display method: Line | Result time: 5 minutes
Can You Be Pregnant And Have A Negative Pregnancy Test Result
Yes, it is possible to be pregnant even though the pregnancy test shows a negative result. This is referred to as a false-negative.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that there are a number of reasons for getting a false-negative pregnancy result. These include:7
- Taking the pregnancy test too early. HCG may not have reached detectable levels yet or the pregnancy test may not be sensitive enough.
- Not taking the test first thing in the morning. You should always take a pregnancy test using your first-morning pee when hCG levels are more concentrated.
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Best Strips: Pregmate 40 Pregnancy Test Strips
Wider than the average test strip
No plastic applicator
No urine cup
If you dont need lots of bells and whistles on your pregnancy test, these no-frills test strips will get the job done quickly . In order to use, youll pee into a cup, dip one of the strips in the liquid for three seconds, and then lay it flat. In five minutes, youll have your answer. The test can be used up to five days before a missed period.
Users were impressed by the accuracy, high-quality materials, and affordable price of these strips. Plus, they come in discreet packaging with fairly little waste, making them a slightly more eco-friendly choice. These strips are a great option for those who are actively trying to conceive since you might go through a lot of tests over a period of time, which can be costly.
Number of tests: 40 | Display method: Line test | Result time: 5 minutes
The Best Pregnancy Test
Weve added testing notes for our also-great pick, ClinicalGuard HCG Pregnancy Test Strips.
The result displayed on a pregnancy test can be life-changing, so you need a clear, accurate result. After more than 50 hours of research, talking to a pregnancy hormone expert and an ob-gyn, drinking too many cups of tea, and peeing on more than 60 sticks and strips, we think the First Response Early Result manual test is the pregnancy test to take.
If youd prefer to buy in bulk, we have a recommendation for wand-free test strips that cost less than a quarter each at the time of publicationthough you may want to verify your results by using one of our other picks .
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About Dr Roohi Jeelani
Dr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Womens Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Our Pick: First Response Early Result
*At the time of publishing, the price was $13.
For its high sensitivity, accuracy, and speedy results, we think a First Response Early Result manual pregnancy test is the one youll want to get. Its the most sensitive over-the-counter pregnancy test you can buy. Its as easy to read as a digital test and much less likely to give you an error message. In addition, in our tests it gave the clearest positive reading to a very dilute solution of pregnancy-positive pee. Results came in quickly, taking only 40 to 45 seconds on average.
Unlike the Clearblue and EPT tests, the First Response test doesnt have a separate window for a control line, but we found the strong, dark-pink lines easy to decipher for both positive and negative results.
To mimic the earliest days of pregnancy, I prepared a very dilute solution of hCG-positive urine. As you can see in the photo, the First Response manual test showed a very clear positive response with a strong fuchsia line, while the other pregnancy tests barely registered faint blue marks.
Since our original testing in 2015, we havent found a more sensitive nor easier-to-use-and-read home pregnancy test. Wirecutter staffers who have used the First Response since 2015 have found that it indeed picks up on hCG and displays a pregnant result sooner than digital tests from First Response and Clearblue.
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How Do Pregnancy Tests Work
When you take a pregnancy test, its looking for the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin in your body. You can find hCG in your urine or blood. However, this chemical needs time to build up in your body, which can cause very early pregnancy tests to come back negative. Each day of early pregnancy, your body will create more hCG. As the weeks go on, youll have more and more hCG in your body, which will make it more likely that a pregnancy test will show as positive.
Pregnancy tests work by reacting to the amount of hCG in either your urine or blood. In a urine test, a piece of reactive paper detects the hCG. This might then show a plus sign, double vertical lines or even the word pregnant. Different tests will show a positive result in unique ways. Read the directions that come with the test to know what a positive result will look like. On the test, there will also be a control window that will show up first. Seeing a symbol in this window will tell you that the test is working. Keep in mind that different brands of tests will take different amounts of time to process.
If you take a blood test, your provider will take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab. The lab will determine the amount of hCG is in your blood.
False Positive Results Of Blood Pregnancy Test
False positive results of pregnancy blood tests are rare, but they do happen. Some conditions can lead to a result of pregnancy when the woman is, in fact, not pregnant.
Because blood tests detect the presence of the hormone hCG, any level of hCGâeven if it is there for another reasonâcould lead to a false positive test result. Some non-pregnancy reasons for hCG to be in the blood are:
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What Other Types Of Pregnancy Tests Are There
Pregnancy tests are either performed at home or in an office. At-home tests use a plastic-encased testing strip with an exposed tip that you place in your urine for five seconds. You can do this midstream while going to the bathroom or collect a urine sample in a cup and dip the strip.
In-office pregnancy tests are offered at a doctors office, health clinic, hospital, urgent care clinic, or other healthcare center. You will get a clinical urine test or blood test. The urine tests used in an office are not necessarily better than ones you would take at home, whereas a blood test can provide more information than a urine test, especially early on. These tests determine whether hCG is present and in what amount.
How Early Can A Blood Test Tell Me I’m Pregnant
“The earliest a blood test can detect hCG is approximately 8-10 days post-ovulation,” says Dr. Mark Trolice, Director of Fertility Care at the IVF Center in Winter Park, Florida. “What makes things more challenging? A woman who has irregular menstrual periods and does not know when she ovulated.”
Both qualitative and quantitative hCG blood serum tests can accurately detect pregnancy 8-10 days after ovulation . This is an advantage to taking the blood test: You can take it sooner than the urine test.
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Best Budget: Clinicalguard Hcg Pregnancy Test Strips
Individually sealed, easy to carry around
Not intended for early detection
If youre trying to conceive and think youll likely go through a lot of tests, ClinicalGuards dip-in strips may be right for you. They come in bulk but are individually sealed, so youll always be prepared. Youll also need a cup for these so you can submerge the strip. If your result is positive, youll see two different color bands pop up.
Women love that these strips are just as accurate as a stick test but cost way less. Its perfect for anyone who wants to test frequently without wasting money.
Number of tests: 25 | Display method: Line test | Result time: 5 minutes
Wide tip + Floodguard prevent errors
Color tip tells you the test is working
Blue dye can cause indent lines
If you are pregnant, you could find out as soon as one minute after taking the test using the Rapid Detection Pregnancy test. The wide, color-changing tip on this manual test makes it easy to use , while the special “FloodGuard” feature helps prevent any user errors. This Clearblue product can be used up to five days before your missed period.
People who tried this test praise its accuracy and speed of results. They also love that its easy to read so they dont have to wonder about the findings. And quite a few mentioned that it only took a small amount of urine for the test to worka fact that comes in handy if youre trying out multiple tests!