One of the most important and fulfilling aspects of a woman’s journey can start with a small positive sign on the pregnancy test. Many women experience some early symptoms of pregnancy but still seem unsure about whether or not they are actually pregnant. Others get some of the more obvious signs like morning sickness and then go for a test to confirm pregnancy. Whether it is through a pregnancy calculator or a self pregnancy test, there are many ways to confirm your pregnancy. There are many questions you might have about just how accurate are home pregnancy tests, let’s find more about them.
How does a pregnancy test work?
When you conceive, the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus and your body releases the human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) hormone a few days after. A self pregnancy test is designed to check the increased levels of hCG in either your urine. Other types of pregnancy tests can also check the presence of hCG in your blood as well. Since this hormone is usually released about 6 days after conception, make sure to do a test only after that time period to get a more accurate result.
Different Types of Pregnancy Tests
There are different types of pregnancy tests available for you to provide you with a clear answer about your pregnancy. The most common of these are urine test and blood test.
A urine test is convenient to conduct either at home or at your doctor’s office. After a missed period, a hormone-based urine test can easily detect the level of hCG to check whether you are pregnant or not.
If you want to first test at home before going to the doctor’s, you can do so with a self pregnancy test. These tests are easily available at medical shops or pharmacies near you. Read the instructions and follow them carefully to get the most accurate result. After you get this result, you can go to your gynaecologist for a more detailed and sensitive pregnancy test to confirm this result.
While blood tests get far more accurate results than home pregnancy tests, they take more time to get the results than the latter. Another benefit of the blood test is that you can check for pregnancy as early as a week after ovulation and get the result, unlike in home tests. The only hassle with these tests is that it is done at the doctor’s and cannot be done on your own at home. But once you go to the gynaecologist, there are two types of blood tests that can be done to check for pregnancy:
- Qualitative hCG Test
This test is just meant to check the presence of hCG in your blood. It is often considered a ‘yes or no’ test because the doctors can simply tell you whether you are pregnant or not after this. It is often used 7 to 10 days after a missed period.
- Quantitative hCG Test
This is a more comprehensive test that checks the level of hCG or the hCG concentration in your blood. In combination with other tests, this is used to monitor your condition to detect any issues with your pregnancy. It is also used to monitor the health of women who have suffered a miscarriage as the hCG levels decrease rapidly after that.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
Since home pregnancy tests check the urine for hCG, you will get a more reliable result if you take the test in the morning when you pee for the first time. This is the time your urine is more concentrated. These tests are around 99% correct and only have a minute margin for error that can be covered by the blood test.
These are the main factors that determine how accurate are home pregnancy tests:
- You need to follow the given instructions carefully to not mess up any test result, it is a very important test after all.
- Test accuracy also depends on your own ovulation cycle and when implantation occurs in your case because it is not the same for everyone.
- One factor is also when you take the test i.e, how soon after conception.
- Different types of tests and different brands of a home pregnancy test can have different levels of sensitivity that influence the results.
How hard is it to do a home pregnancy test?
It is not really difficult to do a home pregnancy test on your own. You can easily get one from a pharmacy and do the test at your own convenience any morning. You can conduct the test by using any of the following methods:
- Collect your urine in a container and then dip the test stick into it.
- You can hold the test stick in the stream of your urine to test pregnancy.
- You can collect your urine in a container and then use a dropper to put it on the test stick.
Pregnancy Tests Results
Self pregnancy tests have clear indicators for pregnant and not pregnant. If you are pregnant, it will either show “+” or “pregnant” on it. If you are not pregnant, it will show “-” or “not pregnant” on it. Once you have got a positive result, you can consult your gynaecologist about the next steps to take in your pregnancy. Before proceeding further, make sure that the results are not fake or affected by any other medication in your blood. A false-positive or a false-negative test result is very rare but it happens in some cases, so if you are doubtful, confirm with a blood test.
Pregnancy tests have recently become an important milestone in the journey of motherhood for many women. The overwhelming feeling of finally knowing that you are pregnant is a moment that mothers fondly remember and look back on. We hope your pregnancy is filled with many such remarkable and joyous moments in the future!