Taking a pregnancy test feels daunting. The results could change the trajectory of your life. Whether you want to be pregnant, or you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you should know how pregnancy tests work.
What is a home pregnancy test?
A home pregnancy test detects the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in your urine. About 10 days after conception (when a sperm fertilizes an egg), the embryo implants into a woman’s uterus. Her body then releases HCG to sustain the pregnancy. During the first few weeks of pregnancy, HCG doubles almost every day.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
Every home pregnancy test works differently, so women should read and follow the instructions that come with the test. When used correctly, home pregnancy tests can be up to 99% accurate.
Women should follow home pregnancy test instructions. If taken too early, used improperly, or read wrong, the test could lead to a false negative. False negative tests are rare but can happen. After a negative home test, many women wait a few days and then take another test.
False positive pregnancy tests are rare, but could occur in women taking fertility drugs or in postmenopausal women.
Does the type of pregnancy test matter?
Home pregnancy tests are available over the counter (without a prescription). Some women find that digital tests are easier to read, but when used correctly, all home pregnancy tests are up to 99% accurate.
How early can I take a home pregnancy test?
Although the body produces HCG at implantation (10 days after conception), HCG may not be detectable in the urine until about 14 days after conception. So, most tests recommend that a woman waits until she has missed a period (14 days after conception) before taking a test. If taken too soon, a home test could be negative.
When should I take a pregnancy test if my period is irregular?
A variety of factors could cause an irregular period. Irregular cycles occur less than every 21 days, more than every 35 days, or vary in length. So women with irregular periods should take a pregnancy test two weeks after sex and if they begin to develop pregnancy symptoms.
Can a urine pregnancy test tell me how far along I am in my pregnancy?
Most urine pregnancy tests simply show the presence of HCG in urine, but not the amount of HCG. A faint positive could indicate an early pregnancy, but it could also be because of dilute urine. Some new home urine pregnancy tests show a possible gestational age (how far along you are in your pregnancy). However, ultrasounds provide the most accurate measurement of gestational age.
Can you have a positive pregnancy test after a miscarriage?
Depending on how far along a woman was in her pregnancy, a woman could have a positive pregnancy test for a few weeks to a couple of months after a miscarriage. After a miscarriage, a woman should speak with a healthcare provider about her next steps.
What should I do if I get a positive and a negative result?
If you’ve missed your period and taken pregnancy tests that gave you both positive and negative results, you should wait a few more days before taking additional tests. If the results still vary, you should speak with a healthcare provider.
What time of day should I take a home pregnancy test?
Take a pregnancy test in the morning, when HCG is usually most concentrated in your urine. But, most pregnancy tests can detect HCG in your urine, no matter the time of day.
When should I get a blood pregnancy test?
In a clinical setting, blood tests detect the presence and the amount of HCG in blood. In special circumstances, healthcare providers use blood tests to verify pregnancy and to determine the gestational age of a pregnancy. Sometimes HCG blood tests may be drawn over a few days to monitor the progression of pregnancy and evaluate for complications. Most often, urine pregnancy tests suffice for women and they do not need to spend the money or the time obtaining a blood HCG test.
Can I get an abortion after a positive pregnancy test?
Although a positive pregnancy test detects HCG in your urine, the results do not tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy nor whether the pregnancy is viable. You’ll want to know those things before deciding whether abortion is an option for you. At Care Net of NNY, our trained medical staff offers free ultrasounds to evaluate the gestational age (how far along you are) and to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.
What should I do after a positive pregnancy test?
The first few moments after a positive pregnancy test can cause a lot of emotions. Some women experience anger or sadness. Others feel nervous but happy. And others feel numb. Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Then, take the next right step and know your options for your unplanned pregnancy.
At Care Net of NNY, our team wants to empower you to make the right decision for your life. You’ve got this and we’ve got your back. Our team has your back. Call today to schedule a free pregnancy test and consultation at 315-782-5433.
**Care Net of NNY does not provide nor refer for abortions.**
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18457603/ (digital tests)
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16084037/ (biological differences)