- 1 What are pregnancy tests and how do they work?
- 2 Types of pregnancy tests
- 3 Is there a better time of the day to test for pregnancy?
- 4 Should you take more than one test?
- 5 How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
- 6 Signs you should take a pregnancy test
- 7 When should you see a doctor?
If you find that your boobs hurt or you have missed your period and feel that something is definitely off, you start wondering if you are about to bring a baby into the world. Even when using a very effective birth control method, there is always that chance of an error and you could get pregnant at any given time. One of the best ways to find out if you are actually pregnant and ease the anxiety is through a pregnancy test. Now, before you go ahead, it is imperative you understand when is a good time to take a pregnancy test and what really happens when you do take one. This way, you will be able to maximize the chances of having the most accurate result.
What are pregnancy tests and how do they work?
Pregnancy tests are used to tell if urine or blood contains the HCG hormone. The human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is produced once a fertilized egg is attached to the uterus. Usually, this happens about six days after fertilization so when you get pregnant, the HCG hormone rises rapidly doubling in every two to three days.
Types of pregnancy tests
There are two types of pregnancy tests which are urine and blood tests.
Urine tests can either be done from home or from a doctor’s office although most women decide to do the home pregnancy test a week after they miss their period. Urine tests come with helpful instructions that are to be followed in order to attain accurate results.
These are done at the doctor’s office although they are less often used. A blood test has the ability to detect pregnancy a lot earlier than a urine test. Actually, a pregnancy can be detected in about six to eight days of ovulation using a blood test. However, unlike a home pregnancy test that takes a few minutes, blood tests take longer to get results.
Is there a specific good time to take the test?
The HCG levels can be detected around 12 days after ovulation so you can wait for about 14 days before you take the urine test from home. According to health specialists, it takes 50 units of HCG for a urine test to test positive and by the 14th day, the level will be close to 100 units. This will likely give a very accurate result.
Is there a better time of the day to test for pregnancy?
In a nutshell, yes. If you really want to be absolutely sure about the results, early in the morning when you wake up is the best time. This is because your urine will have a higher concentration of the hormone. In addition to that, if you have excess fluids then they could dilute the urine so retrain from drinking too much prior to the test so it can be concentrated.
Should you take more than one test?
This will depend on how long you wait to do the test. If you test too early, you might still be pregnant but miss it if the HCG levels are too low to be detected. In addition to that, it will also depend on the pregnancy test you purchase because some of them have poorer detection units than others. If it turns out negative the first time but you are still not sure, you can check again after 48 to 72 hours because the HCG levels will have doubled.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
Urine home pregnancy tests are usually 99 % accurate, however, the results will still depend on a few things like:
· If you follow the instructions given.
· Your cycle, when you ovulate in the cycle and how soon the implantation occurred.
· How soon you take the test.
· Sensitivity of the said test.
Most home pregnancy tests usually promise the 99 % accuracy if you actually do the test on the day of your missed period. If you take the test before that, there is a higher chance that it will come out negative, even if you are really pregnant.
Signs you should take a pregnancy test
A missed period – This is simply one of the most reliable signs that you could actually be pregnant. If you are not one of those women who track their cycle, you might not know if you are late. Considering the fact that most women have a 28-day cycle, you can consider the possibility of being pregnant if you are a month away from the last period. Stress, diet and certain medical conditions could lead to a missed period as well. You can also check the flow of the blood because some women experience light bleeding or spotting during early weeks of a pregnancy.
You experience cramps – Sometimes, implantation feels like menstrual cramps and during the early pregnancy, you could experience such discomfort and you might think your period is on the way.
Your breasts hurt – When a woman gets pregnant, the body produces more estrogen and progesterone. These hormones make changes in the body in order to support baby growth.
Hence, your breasts could feel tender and appear larger than before due to an increase in blood flow. Your nipples could also hurt and the veins might appear darker underneath. However, most women also experience this feeling prior to their period so it is not always an indication of pregnancy.
You feel a difference – Pregnancy also causes other feelings like nausea, exhaustion, food aversions and frequent urination. As time passes by, the symptoms get stronger and you can check if you are pregnant due to these unusual physical changes.
If your contraception failed – Contraception are not usually 100 % accurate and if there was a chance you forgot to take your pill or a condom tore during sex, you might feel the need to test for pregnancy.
When in doubt – If you are a sexually active woman then you have a chance of getting pregnant every month, even though you could be using protection. There are some changes in the body that could make you feel the need to see a doctor.
When should you see a doctor?
If you do more than one test with different results, you should see a doctor so they can verify if you are actually pregnant. Ideally, if you test negative but still have irregular periods or pregnancy like symptoms, you should see a doctor in order to figure out what the problem could be. If you test positive but experience bleeding, you should see a doctor immediately.
If you are simply excited and cannot wait to take the test, you should first consider what you will feel like should the test come out negative. If you will feel disappointment, try to wait longer until the accurate time then take the test.