Pregnancy tests are scheduled to tell if your urine or blood carries a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This type of hormone is generated right after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of a woman’s uterus. This usually occurs but not spontaneous about six days after fertilization.
Pregnancy tests can be carried out on or after the day your next period is due. If you are confused when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period, from as soon as eight days after conception. If you’re pregnant, the amount of HCG in your body increases quickly in the early days and weeks. A home pregnancy test can find out this in your urine.

 

Pregnancy test types

In general, two types of pregnancy tests: one uses a urine sample, the other a sample of blood. These tests detect the same thing- presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This hormone is produced by the placenta just after the embryo attaches to the uterine lining and builds up quickly in your body in the first few days of pregnancy.



It is this rapid shift in hormones that triggers most of your pregnancy symptoms.

1. Urine Tests:

Urine tests can be performed in two different ways and these can be performed at home or in a clinic. One way involves collecting your urine in a cup and dipping a stick into the urine, or putting urine into a special container with an eyedropper. Another option relates placing a stick into your urine stream and catching your urine in midstream. These tests vary in how long you have to wait to get a result. You will be looking for a change in color, a line, or a symbol- plus or minus. The updated digital pregnancy test -makes reading your results simple: the window will either show the words “not pregnant” or “pregnant”.

Best time for urine test

Before taking a urine pregnancy test most doctors recommend that you wait until the first day of your missed period. This is usually about two weeks after conception. However, some tests are more sensitive than others and can be taken earlier. Do it  in the morning for best accuracy (your urine may have more pregnancy hormones in it at that time).

 

 Accuracy of urine test

When urine tests or home pregnancy tests are done correctly we can reach around 97% accuracy. Home pregnancy tests are good to use because they can be done at home, they are generally low in cost, private, and they give a quick result, and are easy to use. On the other hand, if done incorrectly or taken too early, the result can be inaccurate. If you get a negative result and still have symptoms of pregnancy (missed period, nausea, breast tenderness and fatigue), wait another seven days and take another test or contact your doctor so you can have a blood test done.

Urine test product

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Urine test Video

2. Blood Tests:

Two types of blood tests:

1) A quantitative blood test: Measures the exact amount of HCG in the blood, and

2) A qualitative HCG blood test: Gives a simple yes or no answer to whether you are pregnant or not.

These test results are about 99 per cent accurate and can detect lower amounts of HCG than urine pregnancy tests. The two main types of blood pregnancy test include:

  • Quantitative blood test – measures the exact amount of HCG in the blood and can give you an estimate of how far along the pregnancy has advanced.
  • Qualitative blood test – only identifies for the presence of HCG. Since this test doesn’t measure the exact levels of HCG, it can’t offer an estimate of gestation.

Advantages of blood test:

  • Can identify a pregnancy earlier than a urine test at about 7-12 days from possible conception (but if a negative result is found, a test should be repeated if a period is missed.)
  • Can measure the concentration of HCG hormone in your blood (this is vital information for your healthcare provider in tracking certain problems in pregnancy)

Disadvantages of blood test:

  • More expensive than a urine test (price depends on cost of doctor’s visit and lab fees)
  • Take long time to get result
  • Have to be done in a doctor’s office

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