Health

Pregnancy Tests: How They Work & Their Accuracy

If you have been trying to start a family or think you may be pregnant, it is a good idea to take a home pregnancy test. Most home pregnancy kits can be taken any time after a missed period. While some home pregnancy tests are capable of determining results even 10 days after fertilisation, most tests provide accurate results about 20 days after fertilisation.

If you are looking forward to being a first-time mom or starting a family, you may have a number of questions about the type of pregnancy test to take and the accuracy of the results. Read on for more information.

How do pregnancy tests work?

Most pregnancy tests check for a hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). When the egg is fertilised and gets attached to the wall of the uterus, the natural reaction of the body is to produce more of hCG by the placenta. hCG levels start to double every 2 or 3 days, starting from a week of fertilisation. Blood and urine tests for pregnancy check the levels of hCG as high levels are suggestive of positive pregnancy.

Types of pregnancy tests

There are two types of pregnancy tests that you can opt for. You doctor may recommend a blood test. A blood test for pregnancy is highly accurate and may be administered about 8-10 days after conception. A qualitative hCG blood test will merely indicate if hCG levels are high. This is indicative of pregnancy. A quantitative test, on the other hand, will indicate the exact levels of hCG in the blood. Combined with other imaging tests this could help determine a positive uterine or ectopic pregnancy.

Home pregnancy test kits are popular and can be taken without the recommendation of a doctor. They are quick and convenient, and the home pregnancy test kit price is quite affordable too. These come with a stick with a slot and an indicator. You will be required to drop a few drops of urine in the slot and in about 2-3 minutes the indicator will confirm the results.

How accurate are pregnancy tests?

Most pregnancy tests are highly accurate. Doctors often recommend blood tests over urine tests and home pregnancy kits as these are capable of reading the exact levels of hCG in the blood plasma. Home pregnancy kits are, however, much more popular due to their availability, convenience, and affordability. False or erroneous readings of home pregnancy kits are rare. They can be ordered online from most popular medical supplies stockists such as Smart Medical Byer.

Pregnancy tests are not likely to be accurate if they are expired. Do check the expiration date of the test kit before you take it.

Both blood and urine tests for pregnancy may offer erroneous readings if administered immediately after a miscarriage. If you detect spotting or bleeding any time during the pregnancy, it is important to consult a doctor rather than take a pregnancy test.

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