Whether you are trying to get pregnant or experience an unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy tests are a crucial first step in determining if you are pregnant or not. There are a variety of tests that can tell you if in fact you are pregnant or not.
How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?
Pregnancy tests help to determine if your blood or urine contains the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. This pregnancy hormone will begin to produce in the body after the egg is fertilized and attaches to the wall of the uterus. The levels of the hCG hormone will continue to rise after fertilization.
When To Take A Pregnancy Test
To receive the most accurate result, the best time to take a pregnancy test is after a missed or late period. Taking the test before a missed period can result in a negative or false positive. If you typically have irregular cycles, wait to take the test until you have passed your longest menstrual cycle.
When buying a pregnancy test, make sure to read the box and find out when to take the test. Pregnancy tests usually become more accurate the closer to the missed menstrual cycle. However, there are tests on the market that can work a few days before a missed period.
Types of Pregnancy Tests
Urine Tests: This type of pregnancy test is typically done at home. However, a medical professional may also use a urine test to determine a pregnancy. Urine tests can be bought at a local drug store. For the most accurate results, it is best to take these tests a week after a missed period. Instructions are included with each type of urine test for you to follow to receive the most accurate results.
Blood Tests: Blood tests are taken at your doctor’s office. This type of test helps to determine a pregnancy earlier than urine tests. However, the results will take longer. Blood tests also measure the levels of the pregnancy hormone (hCG) in the body. There are two different types of blood tests: qualitative hCG test and quantitative hCG test. The qualitative test will either confirm or deny the pregnancy, while the quantitative test will give you the exact amount of hCG in the blood.
How Effective Are Pregnancy Tests?
If you follow the instructions and take the pregnancy test one week after a missed period, they tend to be very accurate. Many of the home pregnancy tests on the market claim to be 99% accurate. However, it is important that you do not take the test too early to avoid an inaccurate reading.