How Do Home Pregnancy Test Kits Work
To start by talking about how a home pregnancy test kit works, you need to understand the very basics of early pregnancy. Once a sperm and egg meet, they begin to rapidly transform into a blastocyst, a small cluster of cells. These cells continue to divide and make more cells, though it takes close to two weeks for the body to even know that any of this is happening. When your body senses the pregnancy,;your period is canceled and doesn’t start.
The pregnancy will begin to produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin . This is the pregnancy hormone, and it is what a pregnancy test is looking for to say whether or not you are pregnant. Home pregnancy tests look for hCG in your urine, as the hormone is excreted or passed when you use the bathroom. At first, this happens in very small quantities, but the further along in pregnancy you are, the more hCG can be detected.1
Most home pregnancy test kits work by having a slip of paper that reacts by changing color when hCG is present. Or in the case of digital pregnancy tests, when hCG is present, the “pregnant” sign lights up, but it’s still doing so because the pregnancy test detected hCG.
What About False Positive And False Negative Tests
A false negative pregnancy test;usually happens when testing is done too early, and you are pregnant but you test negative. hCG levels rise exponentially in the first two months of pregnancy so the earlier the test is performed, the higher the chance of a false negative result. Less sensitive urine tests and qualitative blood tests may not detect pregnancy until three or four days after implantation.
A false positive pregnancy test;is a pregnancy test that is positive but you are not pregnant.;Home pregnancy tests may show a positive or unclear result when reading well after the suggested 3-5 minute window, independent of an actual pregnancy. This type of false positive is also known as an evaporation line.
Also, anyone who has been given an hCG injection will also get a false positive. In addition, a false positive can also be seen in patients with a “phantom hCG”. These women have a low positive blood pregnancy test and a negative urine pregnancy test. Phantom hCGs are seen in some individuals who react to some substrate in the blood pregnancy test and display a consistently low positive blood pregnancy test even though they are not pregnant. This phantom hCG may lead to misdiagnosis but can be detected with serial dilutions and tests. Patients with phantom hCG have a positive blood hCG, but a negative urine hCG test.
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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How Early Can I Get A Pregnancy Result
The earliest you will get a positive pregnancy result is likely, but not always, nine days past ovulation. It depends on the test’s sensitivity level. At this point, there is approximately a 50% chance that, if you are pregnant, your test will read positive . Most women receive positive pregnancy results between ten and sixteen days past ovulation; however, this does not mean that you can’t get an accurate positive result earlier or later. It all depends on implantation and the sensitivity of the pregnancy test.
When Should I Get A Pregnancy Test
A pregnancy test is most commonly done when a person is believed to be pregnant. Testing may detect a pregnancy as soon as 10 days after conception. The accuracy of pregnancy tests usually increases if taken at least 1-2 weeks after a missed menstrual period.
It may also be done when there are signs and symptoms that suggest an ectopic pregnancy or a pregnancy that is failing.
Signs of an ectopic pregnancy may include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
- Cramping on one side of the pelvis
Additional and more severe symptoms may develop if an ectopic pregnancy is not identified and treated, so it is important for females of childbearing age to talk with a doctor if they notice these symptoms.
Pregnancy testing may also be done as a routine test prior to some medical treatments, such as surgeries or chemotherapy, that could potentially harm a fetus.
For any specific patient, a doctor is in the best position to determine if a pregnancy test is appropriate.
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Negative Test But Feel Pregnant
Speak to your healthcare provider if youve taken a pregnancy test that has come up negative, but you are experiencing symptoms of early pregnancy such as:
- Breast tenderness
High chance of a false negative result if pregnant
Expense of repeated tests, if necessary
Not accurate with hCG trigger shots
Are Hospital Urine Tests More Accurate Than Home Pregnancy Tests
Yes, they are more accurate than home pregnancy test kits;as a home pregnancy test involves a lot of presumptions and a urine sample instead of blood sample.
Evaporation lines and a false negative pregnancy test is a common problem in that case.
A pregnancy blood test is a more sure way of detecting pregnancy.
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What Should I Do After Getting A Positive Pregnancy Test
If you take a pregnancy test at home and its positive, there are a few things you should do, including:
- Take your prenatal vitamins pick a vitamin with folic acid included in the ingredient list. Its recommended that you actually start taking these vitamins before becoming pregnant. This is because the folic acid can help prevent birth defects.
- Make sure to pursue healthy habits. Its recommended that you dont drink alcohol or smoke during pregnancy. You may also want to limit the amount of caffeine you consume each day during pregnancy.
Different Types Of Home Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests all search for hCG in your urine, but there are various styles available that are used in slightly different ways. Dye pregnancy tests come in the form of strips or wands; some you pee directly onto, while others you dip into your collected pee. If hCG is detected in your urine, itll incite a chemical reaction that makes a positive result line appear. Digital tests, on the other hand, typically display the word positive or negative. Many women find that these high-tech options are more user-friendly, and while they may be slightly less sensitive to hCG, they eliminate the possibility of misinterpretation.
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Will Oral Contraceptives Affect The Result
After using oral contraceptives, your cycle may be irregular and may take some time to stabilize again. You may wish to wait until you have had two normal periods before starting to use the FIRST RESPONSE Ovulation Test kit. Follow your healthcare professionals advice on when it is best to try to become pregnant.
Whats So Special About Pregnant Womens Urine
If youre like me, youre now left with a burning question that you probably werent expecting to ask today: why does a pregnant ladys pee make a juvenile mouse ovulate?
The short answer is that the urine of pregnant women has a unique blend of hormones . A woman becomes pregnant when an egg released from her ovary is fertilized by sperm. This fertilized egg then starts growing into an embryo and releases a hormone called hCG , which builds up in a womans body during early pregnancy. Like all hormones, hCG sends a signal. hCGs particular job is to tell the uterus to stop the womans regular menstrual cycle and prepare itself for pregnancy.
Since hormones are excreted into the urine after theyre done sending their signals, the urine of pregnant women has hCG in it, whereas the urine of anyone who is not pregnant does not. hCG, it turns out, makes mice ovulate, allowing Aschheim and Zondeks test to detect pregnancy. Since the invention of this test, all modern pregnancy tests have focused on detecting hCG.
Figure 2: Hormone levels during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
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The Best Pregnancy Tests
“Is it possible that I’m pregnant?” can be one of the most nerve-wracking questions for a woman to deal with. But with so many pregnancy tests and ovulation kits on the market today, how can you tell which is relaiable?
Consumer Reports senior editor Nancy Metcalf talks about the best pregnancy tests and ovulation kits available. Get the recommendations on Tuesday’s The Early Show.
Method:All home pregnancy test kits use monoclonal antibodies to detect a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin , which is produced by the developing placenta beginning on the day on which the embryo implants in the uterine wall. Concentrations of this pregnancy hormone vary widely from woman to woman, but the more sensitive tests can measure lower levels of hCG.
All 18 brands tested by “Consumer Reports” employ similar technology – most use sticks with absorbent wicks that are held directly in the urine stream, and most allow women to collect urine in a cup and then dip the stick. Regardless of collection method, reading the results is the same for every kit: if a line appears in the window after a specified number of minutes, the test is positive.
Working with an independent laboratory that specializes in hCG studies, CR spiked hCG-free urine with varying concentrations of the hormone “to mimic the range found in normal early pregnancies.”
They tested each product at increasing levels of hCG concentration until a positive result was attained.
What Should I Do If My Pregnancy Test Is Positive
If you take a pregnancy test after you miss your period and the result is positive, that means youre pregnant. You can always take another test to be sure, if you want.
You may want to go to a nurse or doctor, family planning clinic, or local Planned Parenthood Health Center to get a follow-up test. Theyll talk with you about your pregnancy options, and help get you the care you need. Be careful not to visit a Crisis Pregnancy Center, because they might not give you real medical care or truthful information about your pregnancy and all of your options.
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What Other Factors Should You Look For In A Pregnancy Test
When it comes to choosing the best pregnancy test to give you the most accurate result, it all comes down how quickly you need to know if you are pregnant.
Many leading brands produce digital pregnancy tests that have an LED screen where it is easier to read the results. Some brands also include information regarding how many weeks you are pregnant .
If you need to check for pregnancy a week before you expect your period, then a highly sensitive pregnancy test like First Response has the best chance of giving accurate results. However, if you have missed a period and want to find out if you are pregnant, then a cheaper pregnancy test will also provide accurate results.
Even a $1 pregnancy test gives accurate pregnancy test results a day or two after your missed period.
If You’re Not Sure You Want To Be Pregnant
If you’re not sure about continuing with the pregnancy, you can discuss this confidentially with a healthcare professional. Your options are:
- continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby
- having an;abortion
- continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted
As well as a GP or a nurse at your GP surgery, you can also get accurate, confidential information; from the age of 13; from the following:
- the FPA: pregnant and don’t know what to do;leaflet
All these services;;including community contraceptive clinics; are confidential. If you’re 13 or older, the staff won’t tell your parents. They’ll encourage you to talk to your parents, but they won’t force you.;
If;you’re under 25 and would prefer advice;specifically for young people, the sexual health charity Brook;provides a range of services for young people. The;Brook website contains information on pregnancy choices. You can also use the Ask Brook 24/7 service.
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Most Sensitive Easy To Read
The First Response Early Result manual test is the most sensitive over-the-counter pregnancy test you can buy. It gives accurate results as or more quickly than most of the tests we considered and is just as easy to read as a digital test.
The First Response Early Result manual testthe most sensitive over-the-counter pregnancy test, according to USA hCG Reference Serviceemerged as the clear winner in our research and testing. We found that it gives a clear result quickly, and its ergonomic design makes the handle easier to hold onto compared with the wands on comparable tests.
This test has a nice, usable design, with a big sponge tip, but its harder to hold and less sensitive than the First Response manual test.
In the incredibly unlikely event that you cant find a First Response manual test, our runner-up choice is another manual test, the Clearblue Rapid Detection. Its well designed, with a big absorbent pad and thin gripping end, but its not as easy to grip as the First Response. Its also not as sensitive and cant pick up on very early pregnancies as well as the First Response manual test.
Cheap and simple, you can blow through a ton of these strip tests without spending much. But they dont have the lab-verified accuracy of more expensive tests.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $7.
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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Do Any Medical Conditions Or Drugs Affect The Test
Certain medical conditions may adversely affect the reliability of this test for predicting ovulation. These include pregnancy, postpartum, post-abortion, polycystic ovary syndrome , ovarian cysts, the onset menopause, and untreated hypothyroidism. Some prescription drugs, such as Menotropins for injection and Danazol , may affect the result you see. If you are undergoing therapy with Clomiphene citrate , please consult your healthcare professional for the appropriate time to begin testing. Medications containing hCG or LH may affect the test and should not be taken while using this test. Women with medically diagnosed fertility problems should consult their healthcare professional before using this product.
Best Assurance: First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test 3 Tests
3 different types of testing
Detects all forms of pregnancy hormones
Sometimes, we need a little extra reassurance in order to be certain. This First Response kit comes with three tests to give you the confirmation you need. You’ll get two two-line testswhich can give you results as early as six days before your missed periodand an easy-to-read digital version. Each of the three delivers an answer in three minutes or less.
Reviewers liked the variety of the pack and the peace of mind it provided. It also worked well for people who werent sure if they wanted to go with a manual or digital test since they got to try both kinds.
Number of tests: 3 | Display method: Line, Yes/No | Result time: 3 minutes or less
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All You Need To Know About Testing Early For Pregnancy
After the egg is fertilised, it travels to the uterus and implants itself in the uterine wall. At this stage tiny amounts of the pregnancy hormone, hCG, start to appear in your urine. It is this hormone that all home pregnancy tests detect and some tests are so sensitive that they can be used up to 6 days before your missed period .
So, for example, if you expect your period on 15th of the month, you can test as early as the 10th. Use our helpful when to test calculator to find out when you can test with Clearblue Digital Ultra Early Pregnancy Test;- no test can tell you sooner.;
No matter when you test, you can be confident in the accuracy of a ‘Pregnant’ result with any Clearblue Pregnancy Test.
But if you are testing early, you should be aware that even if your result is not pregnant, you may still be pregnant. This is because levels of hCG vary from woman to woman and there may not yet be enough hormone for the test to give a positive result. HCG levels rise rapidly in early pregnancy, as shown in the graph below, meaning that if you test again on the day of your expected period, your result will be over 99% accurate.
The day of your expected period is the day your period is due to start. If you still havent got your period the next day, this is the day of your missed period. So if you see instructions telling you to take the test four days before your expected period, this is the same as five days before your missed period.