Home Pregnancy Tests
HPTs - POAS - hCG
Home Pregnancy Tests
|Home pregnancy tests are a common way to detect a pregnancy in the very early weeks|
When a women first thinks she may be pregnant she might purchase a home pregnancy test (HPT). Home pregnancy tests (HPTs) are designed to detect hCG, a hormone released by the cells of the fertilised ovum, right after the embryo begins implanting into the uterine lining. The hCG hormone is released into the blood stream and can be deteced in a pregnant woman's urine.
You have done the fun bit. Now it's time to find out if you're having a baby.
Home pregnancy tests can be used two to three weeks after you think you may have conceived or on the first day of your missed period. Use one sooner than this and you may not get a reliable result.
So now you are going to do your HPT
If you've decided you want to take a pregnancy test, first you'll need to think about how you're going to feel either way. Whether it's negative and you're not pregnant, or it's positive and you are, you could be left feeling happy, disappointed or even distraught. It may be worth having a trusted friend or family member on hand for emotional support.
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Choosing the Best HPT for You
|Urine samples of non pregnant females usually contain less than 5 mIU/ml (milliInternational Units per milliLitre) hCG. After conception, levels of hCG will increase rapidly in a normal pregnancy. By the day the period is due hCG levels of approximately 50 - 250 mIU/ml are expected. During the first trimester, levels of hCG should double every 48 - 72 hours.|
When and how to do the test
|If you think you're pregnant, it might seem like a really long wait, but doctors recommend you don't take a test until your period is a day or more overdue. If you can't tell whether your period is late or not, because of an erratic cycle, or because you've taken the pill without a break, then you should wait three weeks after unprotected sex before you take the test.|
The best time to take a home pregnancy test is in the morning, using your first urine of the day. This urine is less diluted so the hCG levels (if there are any) will be more concentrated. If you have to take a test during the day, try to limit your intake of liquids for a few hours beforehand to minimize the possibility that your urine will be diluted.
You should use midstream urine, meaning you should pee a little first and then either hold the test stick in your urine stream or use a collection cup. If you would like to collect urine in a cup even though you bought a stick test, you will need to hold the absorbant tip of the stick in the cup of urine for 5 to 10 seconds. If you're collecting urine, do the test within 15 minutes of collecting the sample.
Home pregnancy tests only check hCG levels and the hormone hCG is produced in pregnancy, which is released in a pregnant woman's urine. Urine tests use monoclonal antibodies to test for hCG. Most pregnancy sticks have two lines, one is a control line which you will see whether you are pregnant or not, the other line contains the monoclonal antibodies. If there is hCG present in your urine, when it soaks the stick the hCG will react with the monoclonal antibodies, causing a color change that will make the second line appear.
Make sure you read all of the instructions that come with your home pregnancy test carefully. Also, take note of the test reading time given in the test instructions. Certain tests could give a false reading if they are read too early or too late.
Don't change medications or dosages based on a home test without talking to your doctor.
How accurate is a positive HPT result?
|Home pregnancy tests only check hCG levels and the hormone hCG is produced in pregnancy, which is released in a pregnant woman's urine. So, unless the woman has been given a medication that contains hCG (Profasi, Pregnyl, Novarel), then a positive HPT should indicate a new pregnancy.|
If you had an hCG injection (such as Profasi, Pregnyl or Novarel), you should wait 7-14 days after your last injection before the shot is out of your system. If you test too soon, you might get a false positive. Wait 14 days after a 10,000 IU injection, 10 days for a 5,000 IU injection, for 2,500 IU injection 7 days.
If your test is positive and then a few days later your period arrives. Your period may be heavier than you're used to, which may mean your pregnancy has been lost. Experts estimate that about 20 to 30 per cent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, so unfortunately this is very common.
It is only since pregnancy tests became so sensitive that people have realised how often early miscarriages can happen. In the past, these very early losses might not even have been noticed, and the woman would never have known she had been pregnant. It doesn't mean you won't conceive again.
If your home pregnancy test is positive — or if you've taken a few home pregnancy tests and gotten mixed results — make an appointment with your doctor, nurse practitioner or midwife. You may need a blood test or pelvic exam to confirm your pregnancy. The sooner your pregnancy is confirmed, the sooner you can begin prenatal care.
If you suspect you are pregnant, you should see your doctor or health care provider for a urine or a quantitative hCG blood test no matter what result you get from an HPT.
How accurate is a negative HPT result?
If you get a negative HPT result, you may be pregnant and just didn't have a high enough level of hCG to trigger the test. If you think you are pregnant but got a negative result, re-test on another day.
But you are more likely to get accurate results, if you wait at least another three to four days. Most pregnant women will register on HPTs by the time they are a few days late for their period, but not everyone will. Re-test in a few days time, the test may have been done too early.
It is possible the test was not performed properly, done to early, that urine was too diluted to give an accurate reading, or that test was not stored properly before use. All HPTs will come with written instructions. Most tests also have toll free phone numbers to call if you have any questions about how to do the test or read the results.
If your home pregnancy test is still negative two weeks after a missed period, check with your doctor. Many things can cause missed periods, including illness, stress, excessive exercise and hormonal imbalances. Your doctor can help you get your menstrual cycle back on track.
If you have taken a home pregnancy test and have doubts about its accuracy, you should contact a Doctor or health care provider for advice and possibly a pregnancy blood test.
Pregnancy Blood Tests?
|There are two types of pregnancy blood tests you may get from your health care provider.|
Where can get a home pregnancy test?
|You can buy home pregnancy tests online, in the supermarket or at your local pharmacies or chemist. Some doctors, family planning clinics and young people's services offer free tests, as do some pharmacies, British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes International clinics.|
Did you know?
|One of the earliest written records of a urine based pregnancy test can be found in an ancient Egyptian document. A papyrus described a test in which a woman who might be pregnant could urinate on wheat and barley seeds over the course of several days: If the barley grows, it means a male child. If the wheat grows, it means a female child. If both do not grow, she will not bear at all.|
Testing of this theory in 1963 found that 70 percent of the time, the urine of pregnant women did promote growth, while the urine of non pregnant women and men did not.
Scholars have identified this as perhaps the first test to detect a unique substance in the urine of pregnant women, and have speculated that elevated levels of estrogens in pregnant women's urine may have been the key to its success.
|Drink water regularly|
- at least 8 glasses
of fluid a day