No matter if you are trying to get pregnant, a missed or late period could be enough to make you take a pregnancy test. While it makes sense to want an answer as soon as possible, you may want to take a moment before you start peeing on a stick. You could get a false positive if you take the test too soon.
When should you test for pregnancy? According to the Mayo Clinic, the best day to test your pregnancy at home is the day following your missed period. This will ensure that your results are as accurate as possible, which is approximately 99% according to a 2014 study.
According to Medline Plus, when a woman becomes pregnant, a hormone called human-chorionic gonadotropin (aka, hCG), is released into the bloodstream. It then travels into the urine. The home pregnancy test is designed to detect the presence of the hormone, while the doctor can perform pregnancy tests in your office that will determine how much hCG you have in your blood. This indicates how far along your pregnancy is. The amount of hCG found in pregnant women’s urine rises rapidly, at approximately 50% per day. According to the Mayo Clinic, this means that if the urine test is taken before enough hCG has been produced in the body, you may get a false positive.
According to a 2014 study, most home pregnancy tests don’t detect hCG on the first day or before the third day of missed periods. While many home pregnancy tests promise to provide accurate readings early in pregnancy, it is best to understand the process before you make any decisions. If your first test was negative, you should definitely get another one.
According to the Mayo Clinic, false positives can also be possible. The test can be affected if you are taking hCG-containing fertility drugs. The test may also be incorrect if you have had an ectopic or lost a baby. False positives are rare, but false negatives can happen if you take your test too soon.
You can go to your doctor for a blood test if you don’t have the time. These tests tend to be more sensitive. Your doctor should also be familiar with your medical history, including your periods, to help you determine if you might be pregnant. )
The Mayo Clinic suggests that you take your pregnancy test first thing in the AM, before your urine has a lot of concentration. This will ensure that you get the best possible reading. Follow the instructions and wait for the results to be available. It might be difficult to wait an extra day or week for a test to come back, but it can make the difference between a false negative and an accurate reading.
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