When to Test for Pregnancy: The Various Test Options, and Accuracy
Becoming a mother is complex and life-changing, and it frequently starts with the straightforward but crucial act of confirming pregnancy. Knowing when and how to test for pregnancy can bring clarity and peace of mind during this transforming moment, whether you’re anxiously awaiting the news or handling the unexpected. Many pregnancy test alternatives are available in today’s world, all of which promise differing degrees of accuracy. Deciding when to take a test and which kind to select can be difficult. But do not worry; our thorough guide is here to explain the details of pregnancy testing.
What is a pregnancy test?
A pregnancy confirmation test determines your pregnancy by testing your urine or blood. There are numerous reasons for taking a pregnancy test. Perhaps you’re attempting to get pregnant and want a successful outcome. Or maybe something prevented you from using birth control. To avoid difficulties, you might also perform a pregnancy test before surgery or begin a new drug. It doesn’t matter if you’re transgender, nonbinary, or biologically male. You can become pregnant if you have a uterus, ovaries and are ovulating while having penetrating intercourse with a man.
How do pregnancy tests work?
You can use blood or urine tests to determine whether you are pregnant. You can do a urine pregnancy test directly in your bathroom or get blood and urine tests done at your doctor’s office, a lab, or a clinic. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone that the placenta only releases once an embryo has implanted in your uterus i.e., when you are pregnant, is tested for by blood and urine pregnancy tests.
How soon can you take a pregnancy test to get the most accurate result?
You have two choices when it’s time to check if you have a baby on board. Urine and blood tests are the two significant varieties of pregnancy tests. Perform a home urine test following your subsequent missing period, which should be between 14- and 18-days following conception. Blood tests are more accurate and can detect pregnancy six to fourteen days after birth.
Although you can perform a urine pregnancy test at a medical facility, at-home urine pregnancy tests, which are available over the counter, are the most popular. A doctor’s blood test conducted at a clinic is an additional choice. The hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, is detected by both tests. This hormone is generated after a fertilized egg adheres to the uterine wall. After fertilization, the egg usually attaches after 6 days. From then on, the hCG levels in your blood and urine will rise during the following 6 to 10 weeks. You can anticipate a reliable reading once hCG levels are high enough.
How accurate are pregnancy tests?
Pregnancy tests are exact. As we explained, pregnancy tests measure hCG, and you most likely wouldn’t have the hormone in your body if you weren’t pregnant, so if you tested positive with an at-home urine test, it’s most likely accurate. then you should visit to the best gynecology doctor for further treatment.
With at-home tests, false positive results where you’re not pregnant are uncommon. If you miscarried, recently had an abortion, or took hCG-containing medications like fertility or weight-loss treatments, HCG may be detectable in your urine. The test may have detected a chemical pregnancy if you were testing before you missed a period. A chemical pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and the placenta generates hCG, but the egg stops growing afterward. You’ll finally start your period in this situation in a few days.
Additionally, menopause and ovarian problems can affect test results. For women testing at the wrong time of their cycle or those with irregular cycles, urine tests can potentially result in false positive results. Since hCG and LH are chemically identical, testing around ovulation could result in a false positive.
Medical conditions such as renal failure, rheumatoid factors, and various cancer types can also result in false positives.
False-negative results, where the test indicates you are not pregnant even though you are, are also conceivable. Wait until the hCG level is high enough to be detected on an examination to prevent this. That calls for carefully reading the directions to determine when to take a pregnancy test, restraining yourself from looking at the result too soon, and avoiding consuming too much water before the test. There are very few occasions when a blood test results in a false negative; these tests are even more trustworthy than urine testing. This could occur if the test is administered too soon or if you chance to be on a medicine that contains hCG, such as fertility medications.
Compared to blood testing, home pregnancy tests can yield results more quickly and conveniently. However, it will likely take longer until you get reliable findings. A blood pregnancy test will give precise results as early as 6 to 14 days after conception. The findings may only be available for a few days because the test needs to be examined in a lab. Wait until your missed period to receive the most reliable reading from a home urine test. This can happen between 14 and 18 days after fertilization; if your test comes negative, you can try again in 5 to 7 days to check if your body has more significant levels of detectable hCG. Home pregnancy confirmation tests are around 97% and 99% accurate, whereas blood tests are thought to be 99% accurate. To confirm, you should undergo an ultrasound or pregnancy confirmation scan to verify your findings.