Home pregnancy tests have really changed the game. They aren’t only easily available at your local drug store or supermarket, but they also provide you with an accurate result if you use them correctly. Most pregnancy tests work 99 out of 100 times. In other words, they are just as precise as the pregnancy test that you would get done at the doctor’s office.
Pregnancy tests are done by checking your urine for a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). Your body starts producing this hormone when you get pregnant. It starts when a fertilized egg is attached to the lining of your uterus at the beginning of pregnancy. Positive pregnancy result means that you are pregnant, and negative pregnancy result indicates that you are not pregnant. Pregnancy tests tend to be more accurate if you take them after missing your period.
An expired pregnancy test may not give you an accurate result. Make sure that you’re taking the test right, and that it is not expired. Read and follow the directions on the pregnancy test carefully.
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Types of pregnancy tests
There are two main types of tests that can help you find out if you are pregnant.
1. Urine tests
Urine tests can be done at a doctor’s office or in the comfort of your home. Home pregnancy tests are easy, convenient, and private. They help detect HCG in your body after you have missed your period. The tests come with instructions that help you through the process. Follow them carefully to gain accurate results. After home testing, you may wish to consult your doctor for confirmation of the results.
2. Blood tests
Blood tests are done less often than urine tests and are only done at your doctor’s office. These tests are more sensitive and can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, or about 6 to 8 days after ovulation. The only drawback is that it takes longer to get the results compared to home pregnancy tests.
Blood tests can help detect HCG in two ways:
1. Qualitative HCG tests
A qualitative HCG test will only check if HCG is present and give a “yes” or “no” answer. These tests are done in order to confirm pregnancy in early ten days after you have missed your period.
2. Quantitative HCG tests
A quantitative HCG test will measure the exact amount of HCG hormones in your blood. It can even detect very low amounts of HCG hormones in the blood. These tests can help identify any problems that can occur during pregnancy by measuring the concentration of HCG in your blood. These tests can also, when combined with other tests, be used to rule out a tubal pregnancy or to monitor rapidly falling HCG levels of a woman after miscarriage.
Best time to take a pregnancy test
You can take a pregnancy test any time after you have missed your period. This is when you will get the most accurate result. It is a good idea to take the test as soon as possible after missing your period. If you find out about your pregnancy, you have more time to think about your options and to do whatever you can do to stay healthy.
Pregnancy tests are labeled with the directions that tell you when and how to take them. Some pregnancy tests may show false results when taken too early after intercourse. These results are usually very unreliable. If your periods are very irregular, then your best chance at an accurate result is if you take the test three weeks after sex.
How to read a pregnancy test strip?
How to read a pregnancy test with two lines?
After you have taken the test, you are recommended to wait ten minutes to confirm an accurate result. The test shouldn’t be considered accurate after 30 minutes. The color of the line on the strip is not important.
1. 1 Line means NOT Pregnant
If you see only one colored line appear as the control line, it indicates that the result is negative and you are not pregnant.
2. 2 lines mean Pregnant
If you see two lines on the strip, one as the testing line and the other as the control line, it indicates a positive result and you can assume that you are pregnant. Even if the lines appear to be very light in color, it still means a positive result.
3. Invalid result
If the control line doesn’t appear on the strip, the test result should be assumed invalid. A test result could be invalid if the strip wasn’t thoroughly saturated in urine. In this case, re-dip the strip for five seconds and then wait 10 minutes to read the result. If there is still no control line, retake the test the next day, using a new strip. One test strip shouldn’t be reused; it is designed for single use only.
4. Limitations of the test
It is essential to follow the labeled instructions on the test. These tests work most of the time, but still, there remains a low incidence of false results. Consult with your doctor if you keep getting inconsistent results. Certain health conditions also lead to false or irregular test results. Things like alcohol, pain killers, antibiotics, and birth control pills do not affect the test results. A test should not be used after the expiration date mentioned on its package.
How to read a Clearblue pregnancy test?
If the Clearblue pregnancy test is used from the day of the expected period, it is likely to be more than 99% accurate in the detection of HCG hormone in your body. This test is just as accurate as the urine test for pregnancy done by your doctor.
Before you purchase, check the packaging and make sure that the tests haven’t expired.
If you are using the digital test, then dip the test in a container of urine for 20 seconds. Let it sit for three minutes. The screen on the digital test will show an hourglass while waiting. The screen will display the word “pregnant” in case of a positive result, and the words “not pregnant” if the result is negative.
If you are using a non-digital test, dip it in a urine container until its tip changes its color from white to pink. Then, re-dip it for another five seconds. Now, let it sit for three to ten minutes, but no longer than that. Regardless of the test result, the small window of the test will show a vertical line that indicates that the test worked. If it doesn’t display any line, then you need to retake the test. The big window right next to the small window of the test will display two lines intersecting to form a plus sign that indicates a positive result, which means that you are pregnant. If the big window displays a single horizontal line, it means that the test result is negative and you are not pregnant.
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What is an evaporation line?
If you leave the test for longer than advised, it can lead to a false-positive result. The urine on the stick starts to evaporate, which can cause the lines on the test to look blur or distorted. This sometimes makes a single line look like two different lines, giving you a false-positive result.
Hence, it is essential to read the instructions given on the packaging of the tests and should use the test within its specific time that is mentioned on the package.
Home pregnancy tests are convenient and private, but they can also cause confusion. In that case, you need to see a doctor. A doctor will not only get a pregnancy test done on you for more accurate results but will also answer any questions.