When to do a pregnancy test

Home pregnancy test kits are a good way to find out if you are pregnant. But you also need to know if you are doing it right or too early in your eagerness to know if you have happy news for everyone!

How pregnancy tests works

A pregnancy test is all about the amount of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in your urine. This hormone is produced in your body just after you conceive and rises to a peak on the day of your missed period. So it’s always a good idea to test if you are pregnant around the time your period is due or just after.

Types of pregnancy tests

There are 2 important tests to let you know if you’re pregnant: a urine test and a blood test. Not that you need to take both, not unless specified by your doctor. Urine tests can be done at home. It’s also done at the doctor’s office. But most couples prefer a home pregnancy test at first, about a week after the missed period as such tests are private and convenient. After testing at home, you can confirm the results by seeing your doctor.

Blood tests are done at your doctor’s office only. Usually even your doctor would prefer a urine test at first. However, blood tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test – approximately 6 to 8 days after you ovulate. However, it takes longer to get the results than with a home pregnancy test.

When to do the pregnancy test

It is best that you wait a week after your missed period to take the pregnancy test at home. That is when you get the most accurate result. But if you are really eager and don’t want to wait, you can check about two weeks after you have had sex, with a more sensitive kit. Ask at a medical store to give you a very sensitive pregnancy kit and ask at a reputed place only. While saying all of this please do remember that hCG hormone levels develop gradually to show any results in tests. And also that the levels of hormone will be different for different people. What that means is that if your friend had her pregnancy confirmed in a certain way, it doesn’t automatically mean you can do it just the way she did it or at the same time. Usually, tests taken early give inaccurate results.

How to do the pregnancy test at home

Home pregnancy tests can be done in various ways depending upon the kit you have bought.

  • You may have to collect your urine in a cup and dip a testing stick into the liquid.
  • Or collect your urine in a cup and use an eyedropper to transfer a few drops into a special container on the test kit.
  • Or place the testing stick directly in the way of your urine stream so that it will absorb your urine midstream.

These tests are best done after you have missed your period. Always remember to read the instructions on your home pregnancy test kit and to wait for the recommended time to pass to get your results displayed. Above all, remember to do the test first thing in the morning when your hCG hormone levels are likely to be high.

Symptoms that you could be pregnant

One of the most common signs of pregnancy is a missed period. However do keep in mind that stress, some kinds of diet and certain medicines can also be the cause of a delayed or missed period. In such cases, do the test anyway. You can be rid of the anxiety, if nothing else. Another symptom is cramps, similar to menstrual cramps. Yet another set of symptoms are nausea, food aversions, exhaustion and frequent urination.

Negative pregnancy test – it is not all over!

Do not be discouraged if you get a negative pregnancy test because hCG levels rise only gradually. So a negative reading wouldn’t necessarily mean you are not pregnant if you have tested early. Take another test in a couple of days or better still a week after your missed period. Take the test first thing in the morning, since your urine has a higher concentration of hCG at that time. It is also important to follow the instructions on the package of your home pregnancy test kit accurately and check to see if the kit is within its expiry period. Don’t test on a kit that has passed the expiry date.

Once your results are in and you have happy news it’s important to visit your doctor as soon as possible. That’s how you ensure you get the prenatal care and counseling you need in order to have a healthy pregnancy.

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