What is the right way to take a pregnancy test?


Last Updated October 11th, 2019

How does it work?

A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived.  A home pregnancy test is the most common test that is performed by the majority of women to know if they are pregnant.  A hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) present in the urine can be measured to determine if you are pregnant.

Pregnancy strips are used to perform these tests.  It is always advised to test twice to be sure since it is highly possible to provide false positive and false negative results on several occasions.  In the majority of the cases, these tests are considered to be accurate when performed correctly.

These tests are undertaken when a woman experiences signs and symptoms of pregnancy such as missed period, spotting of blood, morning sickness, as well as changes in the breasts.  These tests are considered to be 99% accurate.  It is possible that certain health conditions and medications can change the results of this test.

When do I consider a pregnancy test?

A pregnancy test can be considered when you experience the following signs and symptoms.  Below are the most common signs and symptoms of early pregnancy.

  • Missed period: A missed period is a clear indication and the first indication of pregnancy.  If you have had unprotected sex, then you should be considering a pregnancy test.
  • Tenderness in breasts:  Another sign of pregnancy may occur in the form of tender or sore breasts due to hormonal changes. Consider a pregnancy test when you experience these symptoms.
  • Morning sickness: Nausea and sensitivity to certain smells and taste can occur as an early sign of pregnancy.  This generally occurs when you are one month into your pregnancy.  A test at this stage can clearly indicate if you are pregnant.
  • Frequent urination: Blood flow in your system would increase that causes your kidneys to filter more blood and producing more urine.
  • Fatigue: There is a rush of hormones in your system during the early days of pregnancy, which can lead to tiredness and fatigue.

Types of pregnancy tests

There are three types of tests that can confirm your pregnancy.  These include the home pregnancy test, clinical urine test, as well as the blood test.

Home pregnancy test

This is the most commonly used test to check for pregnancy.  The first home pregnancy test was introduced in the year 1976.  There are more than 15 types of home pregnancy tests available in the modern day.  Many women prefer this since it provides privacy and flexibility.  The results are obtained instantaneously and it is also cost-effective.  This type of test provides around 99% accuracy.  It is important to perform the test correctly to achieve optimum results.  The test should be performed after reading the label thoroughly and following the instructions thereafter.

This test involves placing a few drops of urine on a strip that is chemically prepared to detect the pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).  It hardly takes a few minutes before you could read the results.  This test strip was designed with the concept that hCG is released into the body only when a woman is pregnant.

This hormone is also responsible to cause several signs and symptoms of pregnancy.  When a urine sample is tested, the presence of hCG in urine can determine if the woman is pregnant.  hCG levels can be detected when the test is undertaken after 10 days of conception.  Tests that are undertaken earlier can give you a negative result which is considered to be a false negative.  It is advised that at least 5 to 10 days of gap should be given after missing a period and then the test be undertaken to get optimal results.  Some of the instructions to be followed to undertake a home pregnancy test include:

  • Undertake this test with the first-morning urine to obtain desirable results.
  • Avoid drinking more water before undergoing the test as the urine hCG may be diluted and not provide you accurate results.
  • Read the instructions on the label and follow the steps accordingly.
  • Note that certain health conditions and medications can alter the test results.

Change in the color of the test strip or an indication with vertical lines on the strip indicates that the test is positive for pregnancy.  A second test needs to be undertaken the following day to confirm the findings.  On the other hand, if the change in color of the test strip is very light, you need to wait for few more days before conducting another test.

Clinical urine test

A clinical urine test is similar to the one done at home.  This is undertaken at the doctor’s office.  The results of the test may not be provided immediately as in the case of a home pregnancy test.  The procedure is done under medical supervision, which minimizes the errors and increases accuracy.

Blood tests

These tests are undertaken rarely since they are expensive and also require a blood draw under a hospital setting.  These tests provide accurate results and can detect even low levels of hCG in the blood and the amount of hCG present.  There are two types of blood pregnancy test namely qualitative hCG test and quantitative hCG test.  Qualitative hCG test only determines if hCG is produced in the body.  On the other hand, a quantitative hCG test can measure the level of hCG in the blood.

Blood test for pregnancy is generally considered when a woman is having some fertility problems and is unable to bear a child.  Since this test provides the exact number of hCG, the doctor can determine if this is adequate.

Blood test for hCG can also determine if the pregnancy is aborted.  Since the hCG levels double every day during pregnancy, you can find if the pregnancy is aborted when the levels come down.  On the other hand, if hCG levels are extremely high, this can indicate twin gestation.  During this procedure, a blood sample is collected and then sent to a laboratory for analysis.  Since a blood test can detect low levels of hCG, they are known to detect pregnancy before a urine test can do it.  One of the drawbacks of a blood test is that the results may take around a week to come back.

What do I do next?

What you do next depends on the results of the test.  In case you are found to be pregnant, you need to decide whether you want to continue with your pregnancy if you have planned it or drop it if you have not planned it.  Let us only consider the positive aspect of a pregnancy test and discuss what to do if you are planning to continue with your pregnancy.

A repeat pregnancy test should be undertaken to confirm your pregnancy such as a clinical urine test just to be sure.  Next comes the prenatal planning.  It is important to find a doctor and continue following with them throughout your pregnancy to plan your pregnancy appropriately.  Your doctor will be providing you the necessary lifestyle changes and diets that need to be followed strictly throughout your pregnancy to avoid any complications.

False positive test

A false positive test can occur in certain cases.  This may be caused by several reasons and include:

  • Chemical pregnancy – An early miscarriage is called chemical pregnancy. This occurs before the fifth week from gestation.  The pregnancy ends as soon as the egg attaches to the uterine lining.  A fetus cannot be detected under ultrasound at this stage.  Around 75% of miscarriage occurs due to a chemical pregnancy.
  • Menopause – This is a condition when women lose their ability to produce estrogen. Early menopause can lead to a false positive test.
  • Ectopic pregnancy – During an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg travels and settles in the fallopian tube which is outside the uterus. It is quite difficult to diagnose this problem.  The signs and symptoms are similar to pregnancy.  Fertilized eggs cannot grow outside the uterus and this may cause pain and bleeding from the vagina.
  • Cysts in the ovary – These are closed sacs within the ovary. They generally contain fluid substance within them.  A corpus luteum cyst may cause a false positive pregnancy test.

False negative test

A false negative test may be caused due to several reasons.  Few possible causes are discussed below:

  • Medications such as anticonvulsants and tranquilizers can cause a false negative test.
  • Diluted urine may indicate a false negative test. This is caused when the urine test is conducted after consuming an excess amount of water.
  • The early test can result in a false negative test. Since a urine test cannot detect low levels of hCG, you may end up with a false negative result.
  • Error during a urine test. A false negative test may occur if there is any error while conducting the test.

Negative pregnancy test

A negative pregnancy test may be distressing particularly if you were planning for a pregnancy.  If you are determined to become pregnant, you need to try quite a few times.  There is a possibility that sexual intercourse depending on menstruation may not provide you results all the time.  It is important to know when you are ovulating by using the ovulation calculator.

This will give you the most suitable time to have intercourse to become pregnant.  Another option is to get checked for fertility.  If you are diagnosed to be infertile, you can consider other options of pregnancy such as artificial insemination.  You may also want to test your partner to check for the sperm count and determine if there are any problems related to your partner.

The most important thing you need to consider is checking your pregnancy test multiple times.  If you are experiencing symptoms of the missed period but still having a negative test, you need to consult a doctor and find the cause of your problem.

Final thoughts

A home pregnancy test is considered to be highly accurate and suitable for the general population.  Due to instantaneous results and also being cost-effective, it is the most trusted type of test for pregnancy.  A blood test is only considered when your doctor would want to know how much hCG is produced in your body.  This test is rare, costly, and time-consuming.  Pregnancy is excitement for women.  You need to be thoroughly prepared to become pregnant as well as continue it to childbirth.

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
rubella IgG test
Rubella IgG Test The rubella IgG test is a blood test that checks for the rubella virus IgG…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
IGE test
IgE test – Immunoglobulin E IgE or immunoglobulin E test is a test that measures the level of IgE in…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight…
HELICOBACTER_PYLORI---IgG
Helicobacter Pylori – IgG Test Helicobacter pylori IgG test is a blood, saliva, and urine test performed to determine if…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and…
anti-thyroglobulin antibody
Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibody test Anti-thyrogloubin antibody test measures the level of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland cells and…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of…
Gua sha: Scraping away layers of pain with this ancient healing tool Gua sha is an ancient oriental healing method which focuses on scraping the body with…
Vagus nerve: 7 health benefits of stimulating the “gut-brain” connection As a matter of fact, there are two vagus nerves namely the left and the…
abdominal-CT-scan- image
Abdominal CT scan Abdominal CT scan is a diagnostic imaging technique that provides a clear picture of the…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
Crossfit with rope
CrossFit: Now get the perfectly sculpted body with this explosive gym routine CrossFit is a fitness regimen that makes use of high-intensity exercises in a shorter period…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
Water Fasting: What are the pros and cons of this practice? Fasting is defined as a procedure that involves the restriction of food intake. This practice…
Pulmonary Function Tests Pulmonary function tests (PFT’s) are non-invasive breathing tests employed for diagnosing and monitoring lung diseases…
Anti-CCP Test – Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Anti-ccp or ACCP test is a blood test that is primarily employed to diagnose the…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
Vitamin D foods: Know what to eat for stronger bones and a cancer-free body Foods with vitamin D can actuallly transform your health. Observe fewer body aches, high energy,…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble…
CT-scan-machine
CT – Computed Tomography Scan CT scan or computed tomography scan is an diagnostic imaging technique where cross-sectional images of…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has…
Epley maneuver: Why is this the best protection from the symptoms of vertigo? Epley maneuver is an exercise that can treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of…
Latest findings on Kombucha; a teacup full of yeast and bacteria How can a tea consisting of a live culture of bacteria & fungi be healthy?…
Oil Pulling: The instant benefits of this ancient Ayurvedic cleansing technique Oil pulling is a great way of making use of easily available cooking oils to…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known…
The complete fitness guide on how to perform Tabata This fitness routine is called Tabata workouts, which is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
CBC blood test
CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test refers to the test that measures the number of…
POSTPRANDIAL-BLOOD-SUGAR
Post-Prandial Blood Sugar Postprandial blood sugar test is an important diabetes diagnosing tool. This simple blood test measure…
bilirubin-test-result
Bilirubin Test Bilirubin is a substance produced in the body as a result of red blood cell…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey: What is it and why should you choose this over regular honey? Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up?…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.