Taking a home pregnancy test can actually become nerve racking, especially if you are not even sure that you trust the results. It is worth knowing how to take one and the possible pitfalls of taking one.

A pregnancy test is designed to tell if your urine or your blood contains hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin. This hormone is often coined as the pregnancy hormone as it is produced right after an implantation, which is the time when a fertilized egg sticks to the wall of the uterus. This occurs about six days right after fertilization of the egg occurs. Once you become pregnant, your hCG will continue to increase.

Are All Home Pregnancy Tests the Same..?

All pregnancy tests measure the amount of hCG in the body. A pregnancy test can come in the form of a urine test or a blood test. Blood tests are performed in a clinic or a medical facility. A home pregnancy test, on the other hand, can be bought from local drugstores and can be used at home. This type of pregnancy test measures the amount of hCG in the urine. There are actually some tests that are more sensitive compared to others. A more sensitive test can detect low levels of the hormone seven days after conception.

You can check the sensitivity of a pregnancy test on its packaging. The sensitivity range of these tests is between 10mIU/ml to 40 mlU/ml. The test with the lower number is more sensitive. However, if you test too soon, the amount of hCG in your urine may not be detected. Getting a false negative result, even when you are actually pregnant can be stressful.

What Are the Different Types of Home Pregnancy Test?

There are several types of pregnancy tests available in the market. Most home tests will require you to place the end of a dipstick in your urine for about five to 10 seconds. In just a few minutes, the stick will reveal the result. The result may be indicated in the form of a plus or minus sign, a color change, the appearance of a line or two lines, or perhaps the words ‘not pregnant’ or ‘pregnant’ on a screen or a strip.

It is important to remember that the instructions will vary from one kit to another. You should carefully read the instructions before taking the test.

When Should I Take a Home Pregnancy Test?

There are a lot of pregnancy tests that claim to be accurate as early as the first day after a missed period. However, it is ideal to wait at least a week after a missed period to achieve the most reliable results. You should also make sure that you use the test according the instructions in the package to achieve reliable results. There are some tests that are not precise especially if you use them too early. It is best to wait at least a week.

If your test shows a positive pregnancy result, you should confirm the pregnancy right away. You can seek a consultatin from your health care provider. They will conduct a blood test that will detect the presence of the pregnancy hormone in your blood. The blood test is more sensitive compared to a home pregnancy test. In fact, it can detect the presence of hCG six to eight days after ovulation. However, most health care providers will not offer this until after you missed your period.

How Do I Interpret the Result?

If the result shows a result, it could be that you are not pregnant or you may have ovulated later than expected. You can wait for another few days to try testing again, if you have not gotten your period. You should not assume that getting a negative result means that you are not pregnant. It is important to take note that the amount of hCG produced varies from one woman to another and with each pregnancy.

If you tested positive, you should consult your health care provider right away. This way, you can get a blood test to confirm the result. You can discuss this with your doctor.

Can Medications Interfere with the Results?

Fertility medications as well as other drugs that contain hCG may interfere with the results of a home pregnancy test. However, certain medications like antihistamine and diuretics can also interfere with the result. On the other hand, most medications like antibiotics and contraceptive pills do not interfere with the accuracy of this type of test.

What If I Get a False Positive Result?

Even though it is rare, it is possible to get a false positive result from taking a home pregnancy test. A false positive result shows a positive result even when you are not actually pregnant. This can occur if you had a pregnancy loss right after the fertilized egg sticks to the lining of the uterus. Another reason why a test shows a false positive result is that you may have taken the test too soon after taking a fertility drug. Most fertility drugs actually contain hCG. In addition, menopause or an ectopic pregnancy can also show a false positive result.

Is a False Negative Result Possible?

It is possible to get a negative result from a home test even when you are actually pregnant. This is known as a false negative result. This is more common than a false positive result. This can happen when you take the test too early. The test may have difficulty detecting the presence of the pregnancy hormone if you take it too early after a missed period.

Another reason could be that you check the results too soon. You have to make sure that you time the test according to the package instructions. If you use diluted urine, a false negative result may show. It is ideal to take the test first thing in the morning, as this is the time when your urine is most concentrated.