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How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?

How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?

Pregnancy Test kitPregnancy tests are designed to help you find out whether or not you are expecting a baby. They are very easy to use and incredibly accurate. Once upon a time, a pregnancy could only be confirmed through a doctor’s appointment but these tests can now be taken at home, which is both easier and cheaper. However, there are a few vital things you need to know.

How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?

Pregnancy tests check your urine for the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. The body produces this hormone the minute a fertilized egg becomes attached to the wall of a woman’s uterus. The point at which this happens is around six days after the egg has been fertilized. Over the next few days, these levels rise very rapidly. Indeed, they double every 2 to 3 days.

Is There Only One Type of Pregnancy Test?

There are actually two types of pregnancy tests that are commonly used. The first is the urine test, which you can do in a doctor’s office or at home. When you apply for a free pregnancy test, it will always be a urine test check. Most of the time, when a woman is late for her menstruation, she will complete one of these tests. They are convenient and private to do, as well as being very user friendly. If the test comes back positive, it is recommended to have this confirmed by a physician.

The second type of test is the blood test. This is becoming less and less common, however. Blood tests are sometimes used because they are more sensitive and can show the presence of pregnancy before a woman has missed her period. However, results take a few days to arrive, which means she may as well have waited and did a home pregnancy test.

Within the two types of tests, there are two more subcategories. The first is the test that measures qualitative hCG. This means it simply tells you whether or not you are pregnant. It is recommended to take this test when you are around 10 days late. The other option is the quantitative hCG test, which measures how much hCG is present. This is tested through blood and can indicate whether problems, such as ectopic pregnancies, are present.

Is a Pregnancy Test Accurate?

So long as you wait until you are at least 10 days later, the tests are said to be very accurate. The highest concentrations of hCG are found in the first urine on the morning. Accuracy is said to be 97% and blood tests are even better. However, there are a number of factors that will determine how accurate it actually is. This includes:

  • Whether you properly followed the instructions.
  • Whether your cycle is regular.
  • When you take the test.
  • How sensitive the test is.

False positives with pregnancy tests are very rare. However, false negatives are slightly more common. This is why, if your pregnancy test comes back negative but your period still doesn’t start, you should see your physician about a blood test.

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