All women should know this information to be able to conceive a child.
Today we have a very easy way to find out whether a woman is pregnant or not. A small, rather simple and cheap device helps us make this test at home. It checks woman’s urine for the content of human chorionic gonadotropin – a so called “pregnancy hormone”.
Can my result be a mistake?
Most pregnancy tests claim that results are 99% correct. Modern research show, that it can be true only if test is taken 1-2 weeks after delay of period.
To get maximum precise results, be sure to:
- Thoroughly read the instructions and follow them accurately when taking the test.
- Check test’s expiration date, do not use if test is overdue.
- If even one stripe does not show, do not trust this result.
- First tests should be taken 4-5 weeks after probable date of conception or 1-2 weeks after period delay.
- After receiving any result (positive or negative), repeat test once again in a few days.
Oral contraceptives, alcohol, drugs or smoking does not affect the results of pregnancy test in any way.
There are two types of test mistakes:
Pseudo-negative result (when test shows negative result, but woman actually is pregnant) can be received on the following reasons:
- Taking the test too early (before period delay).
- Incorrect use of test, not following the instructions.
- Low quality, damaged or overdue test
Pseudo-positive result (test shows positive result, but woman actually is not pregnant) can be received if:
- You are taking sterility medicine, which includes human chorionic gonadotropin
- Incorrectly use the test, not following all the instructions properly
- Test is of low quality, damaged or overdue
- You are having a serious gynecological disease.
Can I still be pregnant even if the test shows negative result?
Yes, it is possible. As said above, pregnancy tests allow a very little chance of mistakes, so even if your first test shows negative results, be sure to repeat it in a couple of days (but not before period delay).
When should pregnancy test be taken? How are results connected with the time after probable conception?
It is recommended to take pregnancy tests not before 4-5 weeks after a sexual intercourse with a possible conception. Some women during first trimester have some red secretion (with some amount of blood), which can mistakenly be understood as menstruation. So, if your cycle is not strict and regular, waiting for delay can be useless. You should remember the date of intercourse with a possible conception, count 4-5 weeks from that date and take a test.
If during one month a woman had several unprotected intercourses, test should be taken 4-5 weeks after the last one, so she does not skip a possibility of being pregnant from the last intercourse.
Can pregnancy test be taken before period delay?
Some tests’ instructions claim that they can show correct results even a few days before period delay. It is possible in some cases.
Every woman is unique and has her own cycle (period between the end of last menstruation and beginning of the next one). So, for example, 3 days before planned beginning of menstruation, a woman with 35-days cycle can already be 2.5 weeks pregnant, and a woman with 24-days cycle can only be 1.5 weeks pregnant. This affects the count of human chorionic gonadotropin in woman’s blood. Higher count gives a positive result, low content can show a pseudo-negative result.
That is the reason why pregnancy tests are advised to be taken after period hold and/or not earlier than 4-5 weeks after possible conception date.
Can a test show possible result before period?
Yes, it is possible, especially if you have a long cycle (period between the last day of previous menstruation and the first day of next one) and if ovulation and sexual intercourse happened shortly after the last day of previous period.
How to take a pregnancy test correctly?
- What is the structure of a pregnancy test and when does it show the result?
Pregnancy test is a simple and reliable way of pregnancy definition. Pregnancy test has a part, which absorbs woman’s urine and puts in on a sensitive matrix with special proteins, which define react with human chorionic gonadotropin, if it is present and show (or not show) a respective symbol.
Tests vary in sensibility, which can be 10, 20 or 25 Miu/ml. The smaller this figure, the earlier test can be taken.
Most tests are 20-25 Miu/ml, and can show the result during period delay first day, most sensitive tests (10 Miu/ml) can show a reliable result 7-10 days after probable conception.
- What kinds of tests are there?
As we said above, tests vary in sensibility. Another variation is in the way test is performed.
Classic tests are a test-stripe (first generation tests), they can be of different width or can be put in a plastic box.
There are also litmus paper tests. Second generation tests are cassette tests – you have to put a few drops of urine in a special window. Third generation tests should be put under urine flow.
First, second and third generation tests show results by means of showing a respective colored symbol on a special paper.
There also are electronic tests, which show results on a LED-screen. Electronic tests often are multi-use and have a stock of spare cartridges.
Prices vary widely, depending on the type of a test, its sensibility, design, package quality, additional options, added appliances or even different producers.
- How to correctly take a pregnancy test
There are several major rules to be followed to get a correct and reliable result. But no matter what the result is, do not forget to take the test again in a few days.
- Take the test in the morning, especially if you are taking this test before period delay.
- Follow all the instructions completely.
- Open the package, throw away silica-gel pack, save the instruction.
- Gather some urine in a clean container. For third generation tests, put a test under urine flow.
- Litmus paper tests should be immersed into the container with urine (check the mark on the test – do not immerse below this mark). Hold for 5 seconds.
Put 4 drops of urine in the special window of a cassette test.
- Place your test on a horizontal surface and leave for 5 minutes (or the time stated in the instruction).
- See the result. Even if second mark is light and faded, it means positive result. Check your result with the possible results shown in test’s instructions.
A home-performed pregnancy test is a very easy way to find out whether you are pregnant or not. But in any case, take your result seriously and repeat the test once again in a few days. If both tests show positive result, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible to perform a professional test and examination, plan your pregnancy and take all necessary actions to have a healthy pregnancy and child delivery.
- READ ALSO: How pregnancy occurs?