Pregnancy Test Frequently Asked Questions

Pregnancy Test Frequently Asked Questions

Taking a pregnancy test can be very stressful for a woman. Whether you want the result to be positive or negative, taking the test and waiting on those pink lines to show up can be a very nerve-wracking experience. Read on for some of the most commonly asked questions about pregnancy tests, and get the answers you need! Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests detect a hormone called hCG in your urine. HCG is only present in pregnant women, since it is produced by the placenta. When the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, usually around 6 days after conception, hCG begins to develop, and the hCG levels increase every day that a woman is pregnant, until they level off during mid-pregnancy. You won’t get a positive pregnancy test result until your hCG levels are high enough to be detected by a pregnancy test.

What’s The Difference In A Home Pregnancy Test and A Blood Test?

Home pregnancy tests are cheap, they can be bought at just about any drug, convenience or grocery store. They are easy to use, although following the directions exactly is imperative to making sure you get accurate results.

With home pregnancy tests, there is also of course, always the option for a defective test from the factory, or a test that is expired, or just plain doesn’t work properly. Blood pregnancy tests, given at doctor’s offices, are generally considered to be more accurate, and can detect pregnancy sooner than at home tests. There is also no room for patient error with a blood test, since the results are determined by a professional.

How Do You Use A Home Pregnancy Test?

Most at-home pregnancy test kits are very straightforward. The test contains a test stick, which you will either place directly into the urine stream. Some tests have you place the test stick into a cup of urine instead of directly in the urine stream, but all at home pregnancy tests are done similarly. After the test stick comes in contact with the urine, there is a set waiting period, some tests are three minutes, some are five, some are longer.

After that time, the test results can be viewed, and you can see whether or not you are pregnant. Some tests display results as a “plus” or “minus” sign, others will use a single line or two lines, and others display results digitally as “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” All of these tests work in the same way, but display their results differently.

How Accurate Are At Home Tests?

When used correctly, at home pregnancy tests can be extremely accurate, up to 98 or 99 percent in some cases.

False Positive Results

However, user error is a huge problem, and can cause at home pregnancy tests to be inaccurate. One of the biggest causes of inaccurate test results is testing too soon. Some women will receive a negative result when they are actually pregnant, because they tested too early and there is not yet enough hCG in their system to be detected by the test.

Sometimes, women do not wait long enough to read the test results, and this can also mess them up. Other times, women wait too long to read the test results and the test is considered invalid after the window of time has passed. Most at home pregnancy tests recommend that you wait a few days and retest to make sure that you have an accurate result. After that, if you are pregnant, you should follow up with a pregnancy test at your doctor’s office to be sure.

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Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD
Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.