Pregnancy tests

Pregnancy tests

 

When can you take a pregnancy test?

Urine tests can take place one day before the next period starts. Blood tests can be done at 6 to 8 days after ovulation.

Pregnancy tests work by checking your urine for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) often called the "pregnancy hormone". This hormone is only present in pregnant women. 

How is a pregnancy test done?
There are several types of pregnancy tests that you can carry out at home. You buy them at the drugstore or at the (online) pharmacy. In some tests you need to collect urine and place the rod into the urine, with others you have to pee over it. Some tests last longer than others, and the way of displaying is different. Sometimes you're looking for a single line, another double line or a symbol such as a plus or a minus. Each test has clear instructions. The tests often also indicate a phone number in case you have questions about the test results.

How accurate are home tests?
Home tests for pregnancies are very accurate. Most brands claim an accuracy of 97-98%. The accuracy / sensitivity of hCG differs by brand. If a test is not  done according to the instructions, the result will be less accurate. Also important is the shelf life date. If the expiry date has expired, the test will be less sensitive / accurate. Most brands recommend repeating the test after a few days, regardless of the result.

If you do the test too early in pregnancy, there will not be enough hCG in urine to see a positive result. Most tests will work around the time you should have your next period. (About 2 weeks after ovulation, in which an egg has been delivered by a fallopian tube). Negative results may occur if you are not pregnant, or if you ovulated later than you expected. Some pregnancies produce very little hCG. Go to your doctor if you think you are pregnant and do not see a positive result one week after the missed period.


What can affect the test?
Most medicines, including contraceptives and antibiotics, should not affect the results. Medicines that have the hormone hCG in will. You may see a positive result while you are not pregnant. Medicines with hCG are used for fertility treatments. Alcohol and drugs will not affect the result, but it is unwise to take these if you want to become pregnant.

Urine or blood test?
Which s it better than the other? There are two types of pregnancy tests - blood and urine tests. Both tests look at the presence of hCG. Most women use a urine home test. These are cheap, easy to use and they offer privacy. If you see a positive result then make an appointment with your doctor immediately. He determines the pregnancy with certainty by doing a blood test and a belly test.

The doctor has two types of blood tests. The simplest only looks if hCG is present, and can not tell how much is present. The second test, a quantitative blood test, can show how much hCG is in your blood. This test is often very accurate, and can tell you early if you are pregnant.
Urine tests can recognize a pregnancy 2 weeks after ovulation.
Blood tests can determine a pregnancy earlier than a urine test. A blood test can tell 6 to 8 days after ovulation if you are pregnant. (About one week earlier than urine test).

 

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