The uncertainty you feel when wondering if you may be pregnant is one of the most emotional times in your life. You want the most definitive and reliable answers possible as quickly as you can get them. While the most solid answers come from trained medical professionals, it can take time to get an appointment, so many of us turn to home pregnancy tests in the meantime. These tests can give you the answers you need at a relatively early stage, but there are a few important things you should know before taking a home test. How pregnancy tests work, when to use them, and what kinds are available are important facts to know before taking a test.
Pregnancy tests determine whether or not you are pregnant by checking your urine for the hormone hCG. The developing placenta in a pregnant woman’s body produces this hormone. This hormone is present in trace amounts as early as a week after conception and levels double every two to three days. The pregnancy test uses a small sample of urine to check to see if there is a detectable amount of this hormone in the body. After a set amount of time, the results should display whether or not you are expecting. These tests tend to be very accurate if used correctly, though if you test before your hormone levels are high enough, you can get a false negative.
Once you have suspicions that you may be pregnant or you have been trying to conceive and just cannot wait to know, you can take a pregnancy test as soon as you miss your period. This is fine, however, the longer you wait the more likely you are to get an accurate result. Depending on the test type you choose, you may be able to test as soon as you realize your period is late, but for the best results, you should wait until you are at least a week past the day your menstrual cycle was due to begin. Many tests encourage you to take it first thing in the morning, as your urine is the most concentrated after a long night’s sleep. If you test early with a negative result but still do not get your period, try testing again a week later for a more accurate result.
There is a wide variety of tests on the market, so you have some choices to make. Tests for early detection are a great choice for those who just cannot wait. They can give you a result when your hCG levels are still quite low. The package will tell you just how soon you can use the tests. With basic pregnancy tests, digital readout tests give you the most cut and dried answers, generally with a clear “pregnant” or “not pregnant” readout. There are digital tests available for both regular and early detection.
The key to finding a good test and getting accurate results is to read the packaging and instructions. You do not need to buy the most expensive pregnancy tests to get reliable results; you just need to understand how the test works. The best next step after you have an answer is to make an appointment with a doctor to confirm the results. They will give you medical advice as to why you are late if you are not pregnant or begin early care if your results are positive. Pregnancy tests are wonderful home tools to answer your questions at an uncertain time.
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