What is a Pregnancy Test and how does it work?
You can be pregnant without experiencing many of the classic signs and symptoms of the pregnancy.
If you miss a period, take a pregnancy test. There are two main types of pregnancy tests:
- Urine Tests
- Blood Tests
The tests look for a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). Your body makes this hormone after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus. This usually happens about 6 days after fertilization. Levels of hCG rise quickly and doubles every 2 to 3 days.
Urine Pregnancy Test: It can be bought over the counter, or you can get it through your health care provider. The test is quick and easy to use and also very accurate if you follow the written instructions in the pack or if you wait until the first day of a missed period, preferably first thing in the morning when your urine is concentrated. You will need to wait a few minutes before seeing the results.
If your home pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your health care provider to confirm your results and to begin your prenatal care.
If you get a negative result, you’re probably not pregnant. But you may be pregnant if:
- The test is past its expiration date.
- You took the test the wrong way.
- You tested too soon.
- Your pee is too diluted because you drank a lot of fluids right before the test.
- You’re taking certain medications, such as diuretics or antihistamines.
- If you get a negative result, try retesting within a week to double-check.
How accurate are pregnancy tests?
- Urine home pregnancy tests are about 99% accurate.
What do the pregnancy test results mean?
It’s important to know what a positive or negative result means according to the test used. Digital tests show the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant.”
If you get a positive result, you’re pregnant. This is true no matter how faint the line, color, or sign is. You may want to call your doctor to talk about what comes next.
In very rare cases, you can have a false-positive result. This means you’re not pregnant, but the test says you are. You could have a false-positive result if you have blood or protein in your pee. Certain drugs, such as tranquilizers, anticonvulsants, hypnotics, and fertility drugs, could cause a false-positive result.
A blood test is a good idea to confirm results. You get this test at your doctor’s office. These tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, about 6 to 8 days after ovulation. It takes longer to get the results than with a home pregnancy test.
There are two types of blood pregnancy tests:
- A qualitative hCG test simply checks for hCG. Doctors often order these tests to confirm pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception. Some can detect hCG much earlier.
- A quantitative hCG test (beta hCG) measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. It can find even very low levels of hCG. These tests may help track problems during pregnancy. Your doctor may use them along with other tests to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, when the fertilized egg implants outside your uterus, or after a miscarriage, when hCG levels fall quickly.
If you have any other questions about the pregnancy test or the results, book an appointment with one of our Obstetricians at AL Zahra Hospital Dubai through the Motawasel App or call 043786666.