If you want to know how to take a pregnancy test at home, you are on the right place. But before we dive into the matter, let’s take a look at some facts to learn how does a home pregnancy tests actually work.
From the very beginning of pregnancy, the fetus creates a hormone called HCG, or a human CG. If you are pregnant, this hormone can be detected in your urine. The level of HCG increases as pregnancy develops. The highest level is recorded from 8th to 11th week of a pregnancy, after which the level is reduced. Since HCG is present in the urine from the very beginning of conception this fact makes it possible to take a pregnancy test at home.
What is the best home pregnancy test?
A large number of companies that produce home pregnancy tests claim that their tests are accurate in over 99% of cases when they are used on the first day of absence of menstruation or earlier. But studies have shown that this is not necessarily the truth. Some tests are less likely to read the level of HCG hormone that is in urine in very early pregnancy.
Furthermore, testing pregnancy tests in perfect laboratory conditions with experienced technicians give much better results than testing at home. Studies have shown that the great impact on the accuracy of the home pregnancy test results is the way in which it is used. In order to make the test as accurate as possible, it is necessary to carefully read the instructions and follow them.
In other words, it is more likely that you will have a false negative than a false positive result on the test. That is, if the test is a positive, likelihood that you are pregnant is high; If the test is negative, it is worth repeating it in a few days if your period still fails.
Make sure if the validity of the test has passed before you use it. In this case the results will not necessarily be accurate.
How early can I take a pregnancy test?
As described above, if you are pregnant pregnancy tests detect HCG levels, a hormone that your body produces. Although your body probably produces HCG before a regular period is missed, it is ideal to wait and take the test on the first day of absence. In other words, when you notice that your period lasts for at least one day, the odds that the results of the pregnancy test will be accurate are large.
If you take the test before, it is more likely that you will have an inaccurate result. The level of HCG may be on the rise, but it is still insufficiently high for the test to be positive.
On the other hand, keep in mind that many pregnancies end before menstruation is missed. Approximately 20-25% of pregnancies end up as a spontaneous abortion in the first weeks of pregnancy. Waiting for a few days until the menstruation fails can result in a more accurate outcome. Then you can be sure that you are pregnant.
When is the best time of day to take a pregnancy test?
Pregnancy hormone, HCG is often at its highest level and concentrated in the urine early in the morning. Especially if it is a very early pregnancy. Therefore, it is best to use the first morning urine when conducting a pregnancy test.
Keep in mind that the intake of a large amount of fluid over a few hours before you take the test will dilute your urine. This may mean that the test is more difficult or incorrect. In order to be as sure as possible in the result, enter the usual amounts of fluid for a few hours before you take the test. It is always best to use the first morning urine.
Before you take the test, read the instructions well, if necessary several times to make sure you understand it. Follow the exact procedure, otherwise it is possible that the results will be inaccurate. Be sure to check the validity period of the test.
How to take a pregnancy test?
Most often there are two types of pregnancy tests. In the event that the test consists of a larger stick with a spot for a urinary stream, place the stick below the place where the urinary stream is passing before you start to pee. It is enough to hold the test under the urine for a few seconds. Not necessary for all the urine to pass through the test.
In case you use a test that dips into the urine, pee in a disposable cup. Just one to two tablespoons of urine are enough. Dip the wand in the urine to the marked line, and wait.
In any case, read the instructions of the test manufacturer carefully. Particularly instructions on the validity of the test and how long it takes to pass the test to show the exact result. Also pay attention after how long the test result is no longer valid.
What does a positive pregnancy test look like?
Individual tests are different. So it is important to read carefully the test instructions to see how exactly the result is displayed. Usually, positive pregnancy test shows a dark control line, and a second brighter line that appears after the test comes into contact with the urine.
If the second line appears within the time frame that is given in the instructions for the pregnancy test (from a few seconds to a few minutes), regardless of how bright or dark it is, you are pregnant. It is normal that the line that indicates pregnancy is bright, especially if it is an early pregnancy.
What does a negative pregnancy test look like?
A negative pregnancy test looks so that only the original control line can be seen without anything appearing on the test strip. Sometimes it happens that another very bright line appears on the test after the expiry of the valid test described in the instructions. In this case, repeat the test and monitor the results exclusively within the time limit indicated in the instructions.
It also happens that the test shows a very bright line that is not visible when you hold the test away from your eyes. In this case, also repeat the test. Tests with questionable results are best to repeat the other day, again with the first morning urine.
What if there is no line at all?
It is very rare that the test does not respond at all. If that happens it must be thrown away. Sometimes It is a factory error. Maybe there was not enough urine on the test, or there was too much urine on the test. Read the instructions again and repeat the test with a new strip.
Note: Some tests show the result with the plus or minus sign. If you are pregnant the test is positive and shows a plus sign. In case of a negative result, the test shows a minus sign which means that you are not pregnant.
There are also digital versions of pregnancy tests that show the result on the display. When using this type of pregnancy test you can read the result directly as “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant”.
Keep in mind that some medication affect the results of the pregnancy tests. Talk to your midwife or doctor for more information on how the medicines you are taking may affect the results of your home pregnancy test.
When to Repeat the Pregnancy Test?
If your first pregnancy test was negative, and your menstruation was still late, try the test again. It is possible that you have incorrectly calculated the cycle. Maybe the HCG level was too low for reading when you did the first test. To be as confident in the test results as possible, take it with the first morning urine.
If the test continues to be negative and you have a pregnancy symptom, contact your doctor or nurse. In some women it is possible to get a negative result on a home pregnancy test, while blood tests indicate pregnancy. We are all different so it is important to hear the body and, if necessary, to contact the healthcare staff.
What if I am pregnant?
Now you know how to take a pregnancy test at home. If you are pregnant, congratulations! In case you are planning to keep pregnancy, contact your chosen gynecologist. Plan your first prenatal examination for the 9th to 12th week of pregnancy. Otherwise, contact your chosen gynecologist as soon as possible.
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