Everything You Should Know About Pregnancy Tests

Everything You Should Know About Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy tests reveal the answer to one of the biggest questions that an array of women encounter during their lifetime: Am I truly pregnant? The tiny answer that appears in the window of a test is no source of wizardry or mere prediction. The clinical result of a pregnancy test is based on an exact, thoroughly-researched science that has been perfected over time.

Pregnancy kits have become modern staples stocked on the shelves of pharmacies for decades. These point-of-care at-home tests are fairly accurate to reveal the fervent answer to the burning question in mere minutes. Since there are a variety of tests stocked up for sale online or in drug and grocery store aisles these days, it’s critical to have knowledge of how to use them, what processes they involve, and any resulting actions to take. Here’s everything you should know about pregnancy tests.

Types of Pregnancy Tests

There are two varying types of pregnancy tests utilized today. These tests can either be blood-based or urine-based. Blood-based tests are typically taken at a doctor’s office and can either be qualitative or quantitative to test for hCG. Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is a hormone that is created during pregnancy which is detectable after a fertilized egg is attached to the uterus.

Urine-based pregnancy tests scan urine for levels of hCG. They are fairly accurate and popular test choices for privacy and convenience. Home pregnancy tests are easy to use and produce results with speed and efficiency. After taking this test, more sensitive blood-based hCG tests at a doctor’s office can be performed to confirm the results.

When To Take a Pregnancy Test

First things first, women need to be aware of timing when taking a urine-based test. You may suspect that you are pregnant earlier on, but taking a test too early can lead to a false-negative result. HCG levels will increase with time. For improved accuracy, the right time to take a pregnancy test is as soon as possible after noticing that a period is missed or is unusually late.

Cycles can vary from month to month, but the best timeframe for testing is usually two weeks after ovulation for ease of detection. The sooner a test is taken means the sooner a pregnant woman can get whatever care is needed for her overall health and wellbeing.

A pregnancy test will also be less accurate if it is expired, so be sure to check the expiration date before purchase and use. Tests should be used right away after purchasing. Read through the fine print of the label on a chosen test to be aware of when the best time for testing is. You need to follow the step-by-step directions for the most accurate result.

Factors That Impact a Test

If you desire the most accurate results, you need to know about the major factors that can impact their reliability. Besides the previously-mentioned factor of time, the quality of urine can also influence the results. The majority of doctors suggest utilizing a test right after waking up in the morning as urine is the most concentrated at this time. Early morning testing is the key to easy hCG detection.

Consider also when the embryo implants. For a majority of women, this happens the day after a missed period. Readings at this point can be misleading—especially depending on the sensitivity of a selected testing device. Readings can also be deceptive if you are on fertility drugs. Check with your doctor to see if any medications you are on can interfere with pregnancy test results.

How Urine-Based Pregnancy Tests Work

Let’s rewind for a minute to explain further about the comprehensive testing process. While there can be a minuscule amount of the hCG hormone in a women’s pituitary gland on an ordinary day, there is not enough to be fully detectable on a screening test unless conception has occurred. This is why pregnancy tests are incredibly reliable, no matter their model or design.

All pregnancy tests work within a similar approach. You test your urine for hCG in one of a few possible ways: holding a test stick within the urine stream, collecting urine and dipping the test stick in the cup, or collecting urine and using a dropper to transfer it to another container. The most accurate results are available about ten minutes after the collection of the urine sample.

How To Read a Pregnancy Test

When learning everything you should know about pregnancy tests, knowledge of how to read results is at the top of the list. Again, testing devices differ from traditional to modern. These tests can be digital or non-digital depending on price or budget.

On your typical testing device, results will appear in the small single window in one of two ways: negative (the presence of one test line) or positive (the presence of the test line and an additional line). For these devices, you should select a test that turns a legible color. A solid color helps to clarify the difference between a positive or negative result.

In two-window testing devices, a line will be present in the control window. If you are indeed pregnant, a small positive symbol (+) will appear in the results window, no matter how faint the lines are. If you are not, a small minus symbol (-) will appear in the result window.

Comparatively, some women prefer digital tests with no lines to interpret. These tests may count down to the results and typically directly state the words “yes” or “no” or “pregnant” or “not pregnant” on them.

False positives and false negatives are rare. However, they can happen, no matter the type of test. Testing more than once and double-checking with a doctor is recommended. After receiving a positive test result, contact a healthcare provider.

Where To Buy Quality Tests

You can find pregnancy tests in the majority of modern drug stores and online. For online shopping, consider American Screening as your number one provider. We carry a variety of point-of-care testing products for both businesses and consumers. The pregnancy tests we supply are high quality for reliability, ease, and convenience. We also cover specialized screening such as in-vitro diagnostic testing or ovulation-cycle testing. Contact us with any questions about our POCT products today.

Everything You Should Know About Pregnancy Tests

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