Pregnancy tests

What is a pregnancy test?

A pregnancy test measures the presence of the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in your urine. The formation of this hormone begins about six days after fertilization when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus. In the first days after implantation, this hormone level in your body increases. Pregnancy tests should be able to detect HCG in the urine from the first day of absence. HCG levels are highest between the 60th and 90th day of pregnancy.

If you have a negative result at the first test, it may be because the HCG level has not yet reached the level that can be detected in a urine test. Wait a few days and repeat the test.

Not all pregnancy tests are the same. Some measure more accurately - and of course are more expensive - because they can detect a pregnancy even with a very low HCG value. The HCG concentration is measured in International Units (IU). A test with an accuracy of 20 IU / L is more reliable than one with 50 IU / L. This information should be found on every pregnancy test pack.

How do I use the test?

You can do it from the first day of absence of the period at any time of the day. Avoid too much fluid before the test because it could dilute the pregnancy hormone in the urine. Non-prescription medications such as Paracetamol should not affect the outcome, but fertility drugs that contain HCG already.

First, read the enclosed instructions carefully because the handling is different for different tests. For some it is necessary to collect urine in a container and then use a pipette to add a small amount to the test tube. For others, you can urinate directly on a test strip. Basically, all tests work the same way - they measure the amount of HCG in your body.

The result (positive or negative) is different: some show pink or blue lines on the test strip, while others in a window display a red plus or minus sign or change the color of the urine sample. There are also digital tests where the words ""pregnant"" or ""not pregnant"" appear.

How long does it take to see a result?

The result can be read after about five minutes - that can be the longest five minutes you have ever experienced!If you take the test in the bathroom, it is best to wait in another room and look for a job.

Are these home tests accurate as well?

If you follow the instructions, urine-based pregnancy tests are 97 percent accurate. But mistakes happen and therefore children are born whose mothers had two negative pregnancy tests. There are several reasons why a pregnancy test can be negative: you are not pregnant or your body still emits too little HCG. If you make the test too early (before the first day of absence of the period), you may get a false negative result because there has not yet been enough HCG.

If the test result is negative, but you still think you may be pregnant, wait a few days, read the manual carefully and try again. Wrong positive results - the test shows that you are pregnant, but you are not - are very rare.

If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, then of course it's hard to predict the next period. Wait as long as the longest cycle of the past months lasted. If you have recently discontinued the pill, then your natural cycle may not have set in yet and you may be testing too soon. If the test is negative in one of these situations, try again after three days.

One tip: Do the morning urine test because it's very concentrated.

Where can you buy a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy tests are available without a prescription in every pharmacy.

What is the difference between over-the-counter pregnancy tests and those of a doctor?

Many clinics use the over-the-counter pregnancy tests. Occasionally, blood tests are performed to measure the level of HCG in your body. A blood test is more accurate than a urine test, i. H. she can already prove pregnancy for seven to ten days after fertilization.

A positive pregnancy test, especially if it is done very early, is unfortunately not synonymous with an intact pregnancy! Therefore, you should go to the gynecologist after the test result. Only he / she can tell you if a healthy embryo - or more! - developed.

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