Tests Used to Confirm Pregnancy
A woman can often tell she is
pregnant by noticing at least one common symptom. If you’re
experiencing any of the symptoms of pregnancy, your first step should be a home
pregnancy test or a visit to your doctor who can help you confirm the
Home Pregnancy Tests
tests (HPT) can be used on the first day of your missed period. Some very
sensitive tests can be used even earlier than this.
The tests work
by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine,
which is only found in the body during pregnancy. A chemical in the stick
changes color when it comes into contact with this hormone. Tests vary in the
time it takes to get results, but most take about 10 minutes to get an accurate
manufacturers recommend taking the test twice as results can vary if a test is
taken too soon after the first missed period. For some women, hCG levels are
too low to catch early on. Applicators vary from brand to brand, but the tests
are generally inexpensive. They can be performed in the privacy of your own
are accurate as long as they are used correctly. It's possible to have a false
negative, when the test says you aren't pregnant but you are. If you missed
your period and it doesn’t arrive after a few days, repeat the test or check
with your doctor.
Clinical Urine Test
A urine test can also be
performed at a doctor’s office. Urine tests given
at a doctor’s office are not necessarily any more accurate than an HPT. However,
with the help of a professional you may be able to eliminate any potential
errors that could affect the accuracy of the test. A clinical urine test may
cost more than an HPT depending on your co-payments.
These tests are
taken at a doctor’s office. A laboratory tests a woman's blood to detect the
presence of hCG. Blood tests can detect hCG earlier than urine tests. Blood
tests tend to be more expensive than home tests and the results take longer.
There are two types of pregnancy blood tests.
hCG Blood Test: This test checks to
see if there is any hCG being produced in the body. It gives a simple yes or no
answer as to whether or not you are pregnant.
hCG Blood Test: This test measures the specific
level of hCG in the blood.
If the level is higher or lower
than expected based on how far along you think you are in the pregnancy, your
doctor may want to arrange some more testing. This could include repeating the hCG
test in a couple of days, or an ultrasound. The most
common reason for the hCG level to appear abnormal is being wrong on your
dates. This would mean you are farther along or not as far as you thought in
measures the exact amount of hCG in the blood, quantitative hCG blood tests are
very accurate. They can detect smaller amounts of the hormone than a
qualitative hCG blood test or a urine test.