Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy Tests

You may or may not be positive of being pregnant, but a pregnancy tests in any situation is highly recommended. Basic symptoms like missed menstruation cycle, nausea, fatigue etc. do point that direction, but a pregnancy test helps confirm and act accordingly.

The positive or negative result of a pregnancy tests is determined by the presence of the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine or blood. This hormone is generated after the fertilized egg settles in the uterus. The levels of hCG continue to increase quickly in case of pregnancy.

Pregnancy tests are of two kinds –

Urine Tests – This test can be performed in the convenience of your home or under the observation of a Doctor. Usually women opt for the test to be done by the doctor as they are not aware of the procedure and doubt its efficiency. However, Home Pregnancy Test (HPT) is very convenient.

An HPT kit can be easily bought at a chemist. The kit has the required tools and detailed instructions to perform the test.  The test can be ordinary or more sensitive in nature. But in any case if the test is taken too early the hCG level in the urine may not be enough to give you the accurate result. You can get the precise results through HPT by conducting the test around the time your periods are due.

Reasons for a negative Pregnancy test result

  • You may not be pregnant
  • Ovulation takes place later than estimated
  • Production of low level of hCG (a rare occurrence in women)

Blood Test –Even though urine tests are more frequently used a pregnancy tests through blood is also a method to determine the possibility. These tests are carried out at the doctor’s clinic and can detect pregnancy before the time prescribed for the HPT. They take longer to show results as compared to the HPT.

Blood Pregnancy test follows the same principle of detecting the hCG, however it detects the level of hCG in the bloodstream. There are two types of pregnancy tests –

Qualitative hCG test –This test is taken to determine the presence of hCG in the blood.  Presence of the hormone means the pregnancy test is positive.

Quantitative hCG test –Through test the exact amount of hCG is measured in the blood and even low levels of the hormone can be detected. This test proves useful in detecting possible complications during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Tests Interpretations:

A positive result –This means you are pregnant and it is time to take better care. The faintest of line or colour denotes your first step into parenthood and you are recommended to visit your doctor immediately.

In exceptional cases you may get a false-positive result i.e. you are not pregnant but the test implies you are. This can happen if the urine sample contains blood, certain drugs or proteins.

A negative result –This implies you are not pregnant. Again there are vague chances of getting a false-negative result if –

  • You have failed to follow the instructions
  • You have considered taking the test sooner than prescribed
  • Urine is dilute
  • If you are under a medical treatment
  • The expiration date for the test has passed

Accuracy of Pregnancy Tests:

Pregnancy tests are more likely to be accurate by following the below mentioned procedures –

  • A HTP should be done after a week of the missed period cycle
  • The test should be done first thing in the morning
  • Follow the instructions exactly as mentioned in the guide

A urine pregnancy test is 97% accurate while a blood pregnancy is even better.