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How to Take a Pregnancy Test in Home, Are Its Results Reliable?

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Could you be pregnant? Get answers to common questions about home pregnancy testing.

Taking a home pregnancy test can be frustrating, especially if you're unsure about whether to trust the results. Learn about the risks of testing at home, when and how to test.

When should a home pregnancy test be done?

Some home pregnancy tests claim that they can give results on the first day of your period's delay or even earlier. However, wait until a week after your period has passed for best results.

Shortly after your fertilized egg is attached to your uterine tubes, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) begins to be produced in the placenta and enters your blood stream and urine. During the first stage of pregnancy, the amount of HCG in your blood increases rapidly (often doubling every two to three days). Some home pregnancy test methods can measure the level of this hormone in your urine after a week's delay in your period. Regardless, the results of earlier pregnancy tests may not be reliable.

It is important to find out about your pregnancy right away. You can apply to your healthcare provider for a test for the hormone HCG. This blood test, which many health institutions can do, gives more sensitive results than the urine test.

How to do a home pregnancy test, are there different types?

There are many types of pregnancy tests available. For most tests, you need to insert a swab at the end of your urethra or dip the swab into a urine collection container for 5 to 10 seconds. After a few minutes, the stick will show the test results. Often these results appear on the bar or on the screen of the bar, with symbols such as a minus or plus sign, a dash or two lines, a color change, the words "pregnant" or "not pregnant".

Note that usage methods may vary from test to test. Before performing the test, carefully read the necessary information. If you have questions about how to do the test or how to get the results, contact the manufacturer. There is often a phone number in the package or on the internet where you can get support by calling toll-free.

How consistent is taking a home pregnancy test?

Most pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate on the first day of your missed period. However, according to studies, some pregnancy test results are not available so early, according to the instructions for use, you have to test one week after your period is missed.

Can drugs affect test results?

Medicines containing HCG can affect the results. However, many medications, including antibiotics and birth control pills, do not affect the accuracy of a pregnancy test.

Is there a possibility that a positive result is wrong?

Although rare, there is a risk that a positive result will be false. This situation is called a false positive.

A false positive can occur if your fertilized egg miscarries soon after it implants in the uterine tubes, or if you take a home pregnancy test too soon after you take a fertility-enhancing drug containing HCG. Ectopic pregnancy or menopause can also mislead test results.

Is there a possibility that the negative result is wrong?

It's possible for tests to come back negative even though you're actually pregnant. This situation, which is more common than false positive, is called false negative.

The following can cause false negatives:

Taking the test too early. Taking a pregnancy test right after you missed your period can make it harder to detect HCG. For best results, take a pregnancy test after a week's delay in your menstrual cycle, when the HCG hormone in your urine is most noticeable. If you can't wait any longer, it's possible to have a blood test at your healthcare provider.

Checking the results too early. Remember to allow time for the test to run. Check with the help of a timer according to the package instructions.

Diluted urine. Drinking too much liquid before taking a home pregnancy test can cause a false negative result. For the most accurate results, test first thing in the morning (when the urine is most concentrated).

What will happen next?

Based on your home pregnancy test results, you might consider doing the following:

You have a positive pregnancy test or have had different results on several different tests. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider. You can confirm your pregnancy with a blood test or pelvic exam. The sooner you realize your pregnancy, the sooner you can start pregnancy care.

Your pregnancy test is negative. If your period doesn't start—especially if you took the test too early—try the test again in a few days or a week.

If you continue to get a negative result but still have not had your period or think you are pregnant. Check with your healthcare provider. Many factors such as illness, intense exercise, weight loss, stress, hormonal imbalance can cause your menstrual period to be delayed. If you are not pregnant, your healthcare provider will help you get your period back in order.

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