Think you might be pregnant, but aren’t sure? Taking an at-home test is a convenient way to be certain either way. After all it’s best to know the result as soon as possible to be able to move to the next step, right?
If you have never done a pregnancy test ever before, have no fear. Taking a urine pregnancy test is really easy.
A home pregnancy test can be performed by yourself, and takes just a few minutes to give you a result.
After performing this test, you may want a second opinion. That’s perfectly okay to make sure you are definitely pregnant, and expecting a beautiful baby.
When should I perform a pregnancy test?
You can get the most accurate result from your home pregnancy test if you perform it after your period is due. It’s recommended that you wait at least 3 days after your late period. If your test results negative, keep in mind that there are other reasons that your period can be late, for example stress, schedule changes, and changes in weight.
If you have regular periods, this test may be done even one day after your period is due. There are some very sensitive home pregnancy tests that can detect the pregnancy hormone even before your period. However, if you can wait to find out the result just wait for your menstruation as expected.
If you want to rush to take a pregnancy test before your period date, here’s a tip:
After having sex, and considering that you are ovulating, wait at least 8 or 10 days for a pregnancy test, preferably wait 15 days. After this time, you can ensure that the pregnancy hormone is present and it can be detected by the pregnancy test. The difficulty here is to know when you are ovulating. Do not worry; there are ovulation tests that you can perform. Try this free ovulation calculator.
How do these tests work?
All pregnancy tests attempt to detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), found only in urine or blood when a woman is pregnant. The home pregnancy test is done with urine.
All urine tests consist of placing a small portion of urine in a test tape. This tape reacts with the pregnancy hormone and changes color when you are pregnant, typically to display two pink stripes.
After placing the urine in the tape, you have to wait around 5 minutes; however, this may vary depending on the brand and sensitivity of the pregnancy test. Read the instructions carefully to be sure to perform the test properly and enhance its effectiveness.
The test can be performed at any time of the day, however it’s suggested you do it first thing in the morning, because that’s when the urine tends to have a higher level of concentration of HCG.
How reliable or accurate are these tests?
The accuracy of a home pregnancy test is between 97% and 99%. Not bad, right? The variation depends on the brand and the sensitivity of the tests.
The result of these tests depends largely on when you perform the test. Do not rush; perform the test after the date you are expecting your period. If you do the test before the date of your period, you may obtain a false negative result.
If you perform the test after the date you are expecting your period and you get a negative result, perform the test again 2 or 3 days later. If the test still remains negative, it is best that you consider some irregularity in your menstruation and consult your doctor immediately.
Another aspect that you have to consider is to examine the package to make sure it has not past its expiration date, since that could make the result inaccurate.
If you get a positive result, I recommend a second confirmation, either by a blood test or by re-doing the home pregnancy test 2 or 3 days later.
What is the difference between a home pregnancy test and one performed with my doctor, for example a blood test?
Both tests are reliable in 99%.
A blood test can detect the hormone hCG closer to the beginning of pregnancy than urine test. This means that you could do a blood test about 6 to 8 days after ovulation. With urine testing, you have to wait 8 to 10 days, but preferably 15 days.
The home pregnancy test is cheaper than a blood test, and faster to obtain a result once the test is completed.
Where can I acquire or buy these kinds of tests?
At-home urine pregnancy tests are readily available at pharmacies without prescription. There are several brands, and probably with different prices. If you perform the test at the right time and following the instructions on the package, it should not matter which brand you use.
You can take urine tests as a first resource to know if you are pregnant. These tests are good, quick, and cheap. If the first test is negative, wait a few days and try again.
If the result of the home pregnancy test is negative, even with two attempts, see your doctor to find out any symptoms of an irregular menstruation.
If the result is positive, you should visit your doctor for a blood test to be 100% sure of your pregnancy. When your doctor confirms you’re expecting, have fun announcing your pregnancy to your family and friends!