A pregnancy test is used to determine whether a woman is pregnant or not. It works by checking for the presence of a particular hormone known as hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin, which gets secreted by the growing placenta soon after a woman experiences pregnancy.The placenta is the tissue which surrounds the growing fetus.
In pregnant women, hCG hormone concentration in the body, 10 days after ovulation, is usually 25 mIU(mIU = milli-International Units/ or equal to 1/1000th of an IU for every milliliter); 50 mIU 12 days after ovulation; and 100 mIU 15 days after ovulation.
It may be noted that conception generally occurs with 24 hours from ovulation, while implantation may occur 6 or more days post conception.After the implantation of the fertilized egg in the womb’s uterine lining, the placenta starts releasing the hCG hormone. This takes place about 7 days post ovulation.
Two of the most common ways to check for pregnancy are the blood pregnancy test and the urine pregnancy test at home. Both procedures may be carried out in around eight days post implantation. It is however important to note that implantation can occur anytime between 7 to 10 days post ovulation.
It is also important to remember that regardless of the type of pregnancy test chosen, a woman should always start testing only on or after the day of missed period. Any pregnancy test carried out before this time will most probably yield results that are incorrect. The best time to go for a pregnancy test and get the most accurate results is about a week after the missed period.
Detection of pregnancy with the help of a ‘home urine pregnancy test’
- A home urine pregnancy test kit is one of the most common tests used to verify pregnancy in the early stages. Such kits are widely available at drug stores and normal shops. They are also quite easy to use. Women just need to put some drops of urine in the region marked on the device and then wait for the time specified on the kit to get the results.
- In order to get the best results, women should perform the urine pregnancy test in the mornings. This is because early morning urine has the highest concentration of hCG hormone. In case you are not able to do it in the morning, then you may try and avoid passing urine for many hours. You may then use the pregnancy kit to detect pregnancy. It may be noted that frequent urination can decrease the levels of hCG hormone in urine, thereby interrupting the process of early detection of pregnancy.
- Home urine pregnancy test kits usually identify pregnancy in the range of 50 to 100 mIU/hCG concentration levels. There are also certain highly sensitive urine pregnancy test kits that can detect 20 mIU of hCG hormone levels, 8 days after a fertilized egg gets implanted.
- When a faint line is noticed with reference to the control line then the test is usually positive, even if urine hCG hormone concentration is low. In certain cases involving the presence of a faint line against the test color band, doctors may suggest carrying out the test once again after a day or two so as to confirm the pregnancy.
- The results of a home urine pregnancy test are typically up to 97 percent accurate when the test is carried out carefully as per the instructions and the results are correctly interpreted.
Detection of pregnancy via a blood pregnancy test
- Also referred to as ‘Beta HCG,’ the blood pregnancy test generally yields highly accurate results of early pregnancy detection.It normally displays positive results for pregnancy about eight to 12 days post conception.
- The test can ascertain pregnancy even when the levels of hCG are as low as 5 to 10 mIU/hCG. It is one of the best and most reliable ways to detect pregnancy at a very early stage. It is particularly helpful for women suffering from varied health disorders such as epilepsy or diabetes. The test allows them to prepare in advance and take all the necessary precautions and decisions with regards to their ongoing treatment and medications and thus avoid complications in the developing fetus.
Morning sickness, a missed period, etc. have always been regarded as some possible signs and symptoms of pregnancy. However, it is not wise to rely on just these signs to detect pregnancy as they are not as reliable as the pregnancy tests.The above mentioned pregnancy detection tests are not only consistent, but also an economical way to get more accurate and optimum results than depending on the physical and physiological symptoms.
Women also need to remember that negative results after performing a pregnancy test during the early stages may not necessarily be an indication that they are not pregnant. You may give yourself sufficient time, after conception, for the hCG hormone levels to increase adequately and then conduct the pregnancy tests once again.