Pregnancy Tests

speaker-1305537_960_720

 

When you are dreaming about having a baby, you have high hopes when taking a pregnancy test When you are expecting a baby, the test will show a positive result. However, there are exceptions. Some women would be getting negative results until they are two or more months along into pregnancy. Although it is rare, it can happen. 

What is a pregnancy test? When is the best time to take the test?

Pregnancy tests

Pregnancy tests are an easy and accurate way to find out if you’re pregnant. Women usually take the test when they are missing their period, and they want to know if the pregnancy might be the reason before they head to their doctor. There are many brands of pregnancy test available over the counter in pharmacies or drugstores, some even in supermarkets.

The most reliable pregnancy test

The most reliable way to detect possible pregnancy is a blood test. You can get your blood tested by your doctor. If you are trying for a baby, especially for a longer time, you might get anxious to find this out as soon as possible, so why not do it at home before you call your doc? It is not difficult to purchase a pregnancy test; there are many options. You can choose pregnancy tests with stripes, digital tests, cassette tests, extra sensitive tests (able to detect pregnancy sooner than standard tests), and so on. Pregnancy tests are super accurate when you use them correctly. We know, you are hoping for a baby, you are tracking your ovulation (read more about ovulation tests here), and you have the feeling you might have been successful this time. BUT wait with pregnancy test until you miss your period. Spare yourself the disappointment that may come in the form of a negative result – it is highly possible if done too soon. Be patient. Good things come for those who wait.

How soon can you take a pregnancy test?

One of the most googled phrases related to pregnancy is “Pregnancy test – when?”. So, what is the answer? As we have already mentioned above, do not be hasty and wait for your period to come – if it is late, you can take a pregnancy test. Otherwise, the result can be corrupted, if taken too soon. Pregnancy tests work by checking your urine for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Your body only produces this hormone when you’re pregnant. HCG is released when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of your uterus so you better wait for it J. HCG hormone can be found in urine and blood as well, so if you do not trust shop-bought tests, you can get your blood tested by your doctor. At this stage, the test is more accurate than the ultrasound as it can show nothing this early. 

How to take a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy tests work by checking your urine for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), so the only thing you have to do is to pee on a stick J. If HCG is present in your urine, the test shows a positive result. If not, the test will be negative. As we have already mentioned before, take the test anytime after your period is late, not sooner. Even if you were pregnant, the test would not detect it because of a low level of HCG. The level of HCG must be at least 10 IU/ml (the minimal amount of the hormone detectable by the majority of pregnancy tests). If you take the test too soon, you might get a false-negative result. If it is your case and even though you got a negative result but you are still missing your period, and you suspect you might be pregnant, retake the test, just wait for several days or a week. Give your body the time it needs. The amount of HCG is low at the beginning of the pregnancy, but it keeps increasing rather rapidly. 

Step-by-step instructions

Always read instructions first as they can slightly vary depending on a type of a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test with stripes is the most commonly used. Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Pee into a clean and dry cup or container. The first-morning urine is preferable
  2. Remove the testing stick from the foil.
  3. Hold the stick at the colored end (opposite from the testing part with a MAX line)
  4. Holding the stick vertically, immerse the end into urine not passing the MAX line
  5. Hold for a couple of seconds (according to instructions), usually for 5-10 seconds. You will see the control line appear – it means the test was taken correctly (no control line means the test has failed).
  6. Remove the test from urine and lay it face up on a clean, dry and non-absorbent surface. 
  7. Wait (according to instructions) to see the result.
  8. Two colored lines – you are pregnant. One colored line – the test is negative

Digital pregnancy tests

All tests are for a single-use only. As we have already mentioned before, there are plenty of tests available. The most commonly used are pregnancy tests with stripes and digital pregnancy tests. The main difference is the way of showing the result. The test with stripes shows one or two lines (if positive), whereas the digital one has a display showing symbols – usually a plus symbol or a smiley. Some digital tests are also able to detect the date of conception or due date. You can immerse the test into urine collected in a cup or container, or you can pee on a stick J. Read the result according to instructions.

A positive pregnancy test

Every pregnancy test taken must show at least one (control) colored line. Otherwise, the test has failed. If you see not only the control line but the test line coloured, too, congratulations! You are pregnant. If you see a “ghost” (very pale line on the test) do not worry. The intensity of the colored line does not play any role here. Once there is HCG present (ghost shadow or strong) – you are pregnant J. Once you find out you are pregnant you should make an appointment with your doctor to confirm the pregnancy and to rule out a possible ectopic pregnancy. Alas, there are cases, even though very very rare, when you get a false-positive result. Therefore, it is good to have your pregnancy confirmed by your doctor (he will perform an ultrasound or take your blood to get it tested)

A negative pregnancy test

If you see only one colored line on the test – the test is negative. An egg your body released was not fertilized; therefore, there is no HCG present in your system – you are not pregnant. You have to wait for your body to get rid of the egg during menstruation. However, you can get a false negative result even when though you are pregnant. Why? If you take the test too soon and the level of HCG is yet undetectable by the test. In such a case, your period will be missing, so you can retake the test later on. Wait for a couple of days or a week until you take another one. If you are pregnant, the level of HCG should be already high enough to be detectable by the test. If you get another negative result but your period is still missing, go see your doctor because if pregnancy is not behind the missing period, something else and serious might be.

A failed pregnancy test

In some cases, you can see no colored line on the test – the test has failed. A manufacturing error can either cause it or the test might be expired. The test fails even if the instructions are not followed properly (for example, you let it soak in urine for too long).

In this case – take another one.

How much does a pregnancy test cost?

Pregnancy tests are available over the counter in all pharmacies, drugstores or even supermarkets. They are cheap and highly effective. The price varies from 1,40 up to 12 EUR. 

How to confirm pregnancy without taking a test?

Pregnancy tests are not the only way how to confirm a pregnancy. Pregnancy itself is quite symptomatic, usually, so if you know and can read your body, and you can find out pretty easily. Some women feel somehow more beautiful and better than usual; some feel miserable. Every woman and every pregnancy is unique, so are the symptoms. Some women have only one or a couple of signs of being pregnant, some experience a whole plethora of symptoms. Listen to your body and look for anything out of the ordinary. 

Some of the early signs of pregnancy are morning sickness, throwing up, fatigue, frequent urination, tender breasts, emotional rollercoaster, increased appetite or contrariwise. Read more about Pregnancy symptoms.