Pregnancy elicits different reactions from women. While some women are overjoyed at the possibility of being pregnant, other women can be distressed. Either way, a pregnancy test will give you the answer you may or may not want to hear. Here are some common questions people have about pregnancy tests:
1. What are the pregnancy symptoms?
Common pregnancy symptoms are a missed period, nausea, fatigue and tenderness of the breasts. If you have some or all of these symptoms, then it is time to take a pregnancy test.
2. How does a pregnancy test work?
A pregnancy test detects a certain hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, more commonly known as hCG. This hormone is made when a fertilized egg is implanted into the woman’s uterus. It is only found in a woman’s urine or blood when she is pregnant. The hCG amount increases rapidly each day you are pregnant.
3. What are the different kinds of pregnancy tests?
There are two main kinds of pregnancy tests: urine tests and blood tests.
Urine tests can be conducted either at your doctor’s office or in the privacy of your own home. Most women choose to take a home pregnancy test first and confirm the results with a doctor later on. This type of test is inexpensive, is private and is much more convenient compared to other types of tests. If used at the right time, this type of test can be highly accurate and can tell if you are pregnant as early as one week after a missed period.
Blood tests are conducted at the doctor’s office and are not as common as urine tests. Blood tests can detect pregnancy as early as six to eight days after ovulation, which is earlier than a home pregnancy test. However, it takes longer to get results from blood tests.
There are two types of blood pregnancy tests. One is a qualitative hCG test that checks if a woman has hCG. This type of test can confirm if a woman is pregnant ten days after a period is missed. A quantitative hCG test, on the other hand, can measure the exact amount of hCG there is in a woman’s blood. The quantitative hCG test can be very helpful in terms of checking for any problems during pregnancy.
4. Are pregnancy tests accurate?
Home pregnancy tests are accurate about 97% of the time. Of course, it is important that you follow instructions closely. Accuracy also depends on how soon you take the test after your pregnancy. Many studies show that you should wait at least a week after a missed period before taking any tests. Blood tests, on the other hand, are even more accurate than urine tests.
5. Can home pregnancy tests be wrong?
Yes, of course they can. Many home pregnancy tests suggest that you take another test in a few days. Menstrual cycles vary per woman, which means that test results can also vary. While ovulation can occur on day nine for some women, ovulation occurs on day 21 for others. If a woman takes a test too early in the pregnancy, she may get a false negative result. Many other things can affect the accuracy of home pregnancy tests, so it is best to try it a second time around.
6. Can anything affect the results on a home pregnancy test?
Most over-the-counter and prescription medicines including antibiotics and birth control pills do not affect the results on a home pregnancy test. The only medicines that can result in a false positive are those that have hCG in them. Medicines containing hCG are often used to treat infertility.
Alcohol and illegal drugs do not usually affect results on a home pregnancy test. Of course, it you are trying to have a baby, it would be best to avoid these substances as much as possible.