If you have missed your period or had unprotected sex recently, chances are that you might be pregnant. However, it is always best to confirm, rather than just anticipate.
Before going to a doctor for confirmation, one can get their pregnancy confirmed with the help of over-the-counter available test kits. You are expected to do this test after the first day of your missed period. Keep on reading to find out more about these test kits.
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What is a pregnancy test?
The human body undergoes various changes to facilitate the growth of a baby. One such change is the release of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in the body of a woman.
hCG is a hormone that is released by the placenta during pregnancy to provide nourishment to the baby. But how do we test that? Pregnancy tests are generally conducted in two popular methods; urine and blood tests.
While a urine test can be performed by yourself at home using pregnancy kits, blood tests are performed by a medical professional.
How do pregnancy tests work?
Pregnancy tests primarily determine the amount of hCG in your body. It can be found in both your urine and blood. However, this chemical needs time to build up in your body, therefore, very early pregnancy tests can show up as negative.
Furthermore, if you do not follow the instructions properly, the test may turn out to be negative. The pregnancy test kits have a reactive piece of paper that changes colour if your body has an excessive amount of hCG.
How to test pregnancy at home with the kit?
Taking a pregnancy test is an easy process. The steps include:
- After you get the medical kit from a medical store, remove the cap to expose the window that absorbs the urine.
- Point the tip directly into the urine sample. Make sure you take the sample for at least 10 seconds.
- Put the cap back on and place it horizontally on a flat surface. Wait for at least 5 minutes for the test to finish.
According to most manufacturers, these tests are 99% effective if the steps are followed correctly. These tests can be taken after 10 days of conception because the body starts producing hCG from that point itself.
However, it is advised that this test is taken after a missed period to make sure that you do not get a false negative.
Things to keep in mind
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind to make sure the test is reliable and is done smoothly. These steps include:
Use your first-morning urine. During this time of the day, your hCG levels will be the most concentrated.
If you are taking this test at any other time then make sure that the urine has been in your bladder for at least 4 hours. This will improve the accuracy of your test immensely.
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Do not drink excessive fluids before taking a pregnancy test as it can dilute your urine. Most people make this mistake thinking that it will increase the volume of their urine.
Make sure that you read the ‘direction of use’ part thoroughly before taking this test. You can find this mentioned in the packaging of your pregnancy kit.
Advantages of taking a home test
These advantages of using a home pregnancy test kit include:
- Pregnancy tests are relatively less expensive.
- The process is simple and the kit is easy to use.
- These tests provide the quickest results.
However, it is advised to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about pregnancy kits
Q1. Can pregnancy kits be trusted?
Ans: Pregnancy test kits are one of the most reliable tools to identify if you are pregnant.
Q2. How to use a pregnancy kit?
Ans. The directions to use a pregnancy kit are usually mentioned on the packaging of the kit itself.
Q3. What are the main types of pregnancy tests?
Ans. Blood tests and urine tests are the two main types of pregnancy tests.
Q4. Where can I find a pregnancy test kit?
Ans. You can easily get a pregnancy test kit at a regular drugstore.
Q5. Can I be pregnant even if the test is negative?
Yes, you can still be pregnant if you have taken the test very early. You can either wait or get a blood test done.
Most pregnancy kits are reliable and can be used with ease. Pregnancy test kits aim to provide you with accurate results in the comfort of your own house.
If you have missed your period or are not sure about your pregnancy even after using the kit, contact a doctor.