Pregnancy Test

November 12, 2012

Pregnancy Test

If you are a sexually active woman, and are experiencing the common sign and symptoms of pregnancy, you may be anxious about them. You can, however, confirm your doubts with a pregnancy test from the convenience of your home.

Home Tests

If you suspect pregnancy, you do not have to wait for a doctor’s appointment for confirmation. There are several steps that you can take in the meantime. You can take a pregnancy quiz. Many websites offer free online questionnaires that analyze your symptoms, and tell you the chances of you being pregnant. If your pregnancy quiz results are positive, or if you are unsure of them, you can take a home pregnancy test.

These test kits are available at most local pharmacies without a prescription. They have clear illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions. The tests are very popular and fairly accurate as well.

How Do They Work?

A home pregnancy test is very easy to perform. You just have to add a few drops of first morning urine to the test strip, as instructed by the manufacturer. Wait for a few seconds. A positive test may be indicated by a plus sign or certain number of bars on the window of the strip. You can check the control window to make sure the strip is working properly.

Most pregnancy test kits available in the market detect the presence of the human chorionic gonadotropin, or the hCG, hormone in the urine. This is secreted by the placenta as it starts developing shortly after fertilization. This happens about six days after conception. So, the earliest tests can detect hCG about six days post-conception, well before your first missed period. However, it is advisable to wait until the missed period. The tests are more reliable at this stage because the hormone levels are significantly higher.

You should also remember that certain infertility drugs containing hCG hormone may give false positive results. Also some early conceptions do not progress into pregnancy. Hence, only tests performed after the first missed period are considered reliable. In contrast, certain women may produce very low levels of hCG during their pregnancy. Their test results may be false negative.

Next Steps

If your pregnancy test results are positive, you should talk to your doctor and confirm the diagnosis at a clinical laboratory. Your doctor may recommend a urine or blood-based test for the confirmation. You should also start taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements right away. You should also get a confirmation test if your symptoms persist even after a negative home pregnancy test, especially if your periods do not come back.

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