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What to know about pregnancy testing

You can either take the test at your home or in a doctor’s clinic. It is important to understand the differences between different types of tests and how they work so that you get accurate results.

This article will describe the different types of pregnancy tests, how they are used, and the meanings of the results.

Types of pregnancy tests

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There are two types of tests: blood and urine. Urine tests can be used to test for pregnancy at home.

Urine tests

These tests are used to determine the level of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG (human chorionic growth hormone).

The hormone begins to circulate once the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus wall. This usually occurs 6 days after fertilization.

hCG levels change during pregnancy. A urine test can detect the presence of hCG between 12-15Trusted Source days following ovulation.

Home pregnancy test

You can buy home pregnancy tests over-the-counter and they are usually quite affordable. They will give accurate results if used correctly.

These tests generally give results in 5 minutes trusted Source. However, timings of different tests can vary.

A home pregnancy test standard has a strip that changes in colour or displays a symbol such as a plus sign or minus sign to indicate the result. A screen for digital tests displays the results as “pregnant”, “not pregnant”, or a symbol. You can indicate the stage of your pregnancy with some screens.

You can order a variety of pregnancy tests online.

Clinical urine test

This requires you to go to the doctor to give a sample of your urine. This is a way to avoid some of the mistakes made with home testing. The accuracy level is the same as home testing.

Clinical tests are similar to home tests and look for the presence hCG in a person’s urine.

There are many waiting times for clinical results. Some facilities can provide results right away, while others can take up to one week.

Blood tests

Although these are not as trusted sources as urine tests, they can provide results earlier in pregnancy.

There are two types trusted sources. The qualitative hCG blood test is used to determine if the hormone is detected in blood samples. A quantitative hCG test can measure the amount of hormone in a person’s body and detect very small amounts.


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Who should take a pregnancy test?

Anyone who suspects they might be pregnant should have a test. For those who have had sex recently without any barrier protection, such as a condom, this might be a good idea.

There are some signs that indicate early pregnancy.

  • a missed period
  • enlarged, tender, or swollen breasts
  • fatigue
  • Increased Urination
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Find out more about early signs of pregnancy.

Pregnancy tests

A woman might be able to have a pregnancy test at a doctor’s or clinic. This may involve giving a blood sample or a urine sample, depending on the test. This can be sent to a laboratory or tested by healthcare professionals. It usually takes about a day for the lab to report its results.

Although home pregnancy tests are easy, it is important to carefully follow the instructions. They involve:

  • Urinating directly onto the testing stick
  • Urinating into a clean cup. After that, dip the testing stick in this for a time
  • Urinating into a clean cup. Then, using a dropper to inject urine into an area of the test stack.

The hCG levels of a pregnant woman can change quickly throughout the pregnancy. A trusted source recommends that you test for pregnancy at least 1-2 weeks after your first missed period. If a person suspects they are pregnant, but does not receive a positive result, they may wait and then test again.


Home pregnancy tests can be as accurate as 99%. A positive result is usually correct. It is more likely that a negative result will be wrong.

These accuracy claims assume that the person used the test correctly.

While most tests will give accurate results within the first day of a missed period (although some tests may not be able to do so), it is best to test for accuracy at least one week after a missed period.

A home pregnancy test can’t detect pregnancy in around 10%-20% of people who are pregnant. This could be due to irregular periods, miscalculating their period date or other reasons.

However, there are many other factors that can affect the accuracy of pregnancy tests.

  • When the person tests, because hCG levels can be easier to detectTrusted source first thing in the AM
  • The time since conception
  • The time since conception
  • How quickly fertilized eggs implant
  • How well has the person followed the testing instructions
  • How sensitive is the test

What does the result mean?

A positive result is usually indicative of pregnancy. Conversely, a negative result indicates that the person may not be pregnant. A negative result is more likely to be wrong.

Anyone using a home-testing kit should carefully read the instructions and be able to understand what each symbol or colour means.

A healthcare professional will explain the results of a clinical test.

Positive result

A positive result indicates pregnancy. Even if the home test results are faint, a positive result indicates pregnancy.

Anybody who receives a positive result from a medical professional should immediately contact a trusted source.

False-positive results are very rare. False positives are when the test results say that the woman is pregnant but they are not. False positives can occur due to:

  • The test kit has expired
  • certain medications
  • Early Pregnancy Loss
  • ovarian tumours
  • liver disease
  • kidney failure

Negative result

Negative results indicate that it is unlikely that you will become pregnant. False-negative results are not uncommon.

One person may get a negative test result and be pregnant. The test might not detect it. There are many reasons this can happen, including:

  • Taking the test incorrectly
  • testing too soon
  • Testing with too-diluted urine
  • Using an expired or faulty test

It is a good idea to take another test within one seek trusted Source, regardless of whether the first test was negative or positive. It is particularly important to do so if there were any signs of pregnancy, a negative result, or both.

How to visit a doctor

Anybody with questions regarding pregnancy or test results should consult a healthcare professional

A doctor can confirm the results of a home pregnancy test with a clinical test if they are positive. It is crucial to discuss a prenatal care program with your doctor. This includes regular checkups throughout pregnancy.

Contact a healthcare professional if a home pregnancy test results are negative but your periods don’t resume.

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