- Pregnancy tests in olden days used to take more time
- Test can be done with blood or urine samples or both
- It analyzes the presence of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin(hCG) hormone
- Gynecologists say, to an extent, one can rely on home pregnancy test
- Early pregnancy test at home just after the missed period or up to a week from then may fetch negative result
Decades ago, testing a pregnancy was a herculean task of collecting blood and urine samples, waiting for a day or two to get the result and then, what if it is negative?
The invention of home pregnancy test kit paved the way for that comfortable process of knowing the result within minutes that too in the atmosphere of your home. Yes, even, you don’t have to share it with a third person if it is a negative result and if it is a positive confirmation you have all the privacy on when to announce it.
What is a pregnancy test?
It is a test that confirms a pregnancy in a woman through analyzing various elements in blood or urine sample. In a home pregnancy test kit, prepared chemical strip will analyze the presence of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in urine. A blood test can also be done to analyze HCG presence.
Qualitative hCG test:
It confirms the presence or absence of hCG hormone level in blood. A presence of about 25 IU/L or more can be detected through the blood test.
Quantitative hCG test:
It analyses the amount of Beta-hCG present in the blood. It may get increased during the first trimester of pregnancy. If it is increasing, it is found to be normal. If the hCG level found to be decreasing in frequent tests done in the gap of two three days, it can be a sign of miscarriage or some other medical condition.
Home pregnancy test and accuracy
According to Dr. Lakshmi, Gynecologist “the accuracy of pregnancy test at home depends on the period one does it. If you do the next day after missed period date, it may not be 100 percent accurate. Waiting for a week will provide you with a reliable result.”
As per research, hCG can easily be detected in blood, but it takes a minimum of a week to detect its presence in urine. The one week is the time taken for implantation, the attachment of the fertilized egg on the uterine walls. Thus it is advisable to do the test after a week or two of missed periods.
It may also give a negative result, if the implantation has not been completed, as the release of hCG hormone depends on it.
Other medical conditions like a tumor in the ovary, stomach, bladder, etc. can also release the hCG hormone, so it is always recommended to read the result with other symptoms.
“In normal cases, you can rely on the pregnancy test at home, and there is no need to do another test at the hospital. But blood tests will be prescribed to diagnose other parameters like blood sugar level,” shares Dr. Lakshmi.
Confirming a test result
Pregnancy test kits of several companies are available in the market today. Each type will have a unique indication of positive and negative results. Read the manual carefully and do the procedures accordingly.
Once you have done the home test for pregnancy, if it is a positive result, consult the doctor and go for a blood test for confirmation. You can also read it with the symptoms you feel.
If it is a negative result, it may be too early to conduct a test. Wait for a couple of days or even a week and conduct the test again. Or else you can go for the blood test too. If you found positive first and a later test showed a negative result, it can also be a medical condition which needs a consultation with a doctor.