Some Basics About Home Pregnancy Testing

Simply put, pregnancy testing is all about determining whether a woman is pregnant or not. Efforts to find out whether a baby is on its way were carried out as far back as the medieval ages, if not earlier. There is evidence of pregnancy testing in the ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures. Most likely, far eastern cultures did it too. There is however no way to know how dependable the tests conducted in those days were. In all probability, the tests were non-scientific.

In comparison, in today’s scientific world – dependability, safety, and accuracy are the keywords for any pregnancy test.

Am I pregnant? This is quite a question every woman asks herself at some point of time. More so, every woman is curious about many aspects of pregnancy tests.

Here are answers to some basic questions related to pregnancy testing.

How do pregnancy tests work?

When a woman becomes pregnant, her urine test will detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is usually implanted six days after the egg and sperm come together in the uterus. Are home pregnancy tests (HMT) accurate on the first day of a missed period?

As per an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the highest possible sensitivity for an hCG – based pregnancy test conducted on the first day of the missed period is 90%. Are HMT simple to perform?

The answer is yes. These are designed specifically so that a woman has enough flexibility and privacy. All that she needs to do is place a drop of her urine on a prepared chemical strip. The strip will detect the pregnancy hormone hCG. How do HMTs compare to tests done at doctor’s office?

Manufacturers claim that home medical tests if done as instructed have the same accuracy rate as the urine tests conducted in a doctor’s office.

How long should I wait between pregnancy tests?

The most common instructions that doctors give is to wait one week between a negative test and the next hormone test. However, if you continue to get negative pregnancy test after one week and your period has not yet started then you should consult your doctor.

Do certain medications affect home pregnancy test results?

Most medicines do not. OTC drugs, prescription medicines, and birth control pills have no effect on the pregnancy test results. However, medicines that have pregnancy hormones in them may give false positive test results. What does a faint line on a pregnancy test mean?

A faint test line or a color band usually indicates a positive result as long as it is read within the stipulated period. There are various explanations for faint lines. For an in-depth idea, a comprehensive pregnancy resource center on the web is the best source.

Do recreational drugs like alcohol interfere with the test results?

There is no evidence that either alcohol or drugs like cocaine, heroin, or marijuana alter home pregnancy test results. Nevertheless, medical practitioners recommend testing when not under their influence.

Where can I buy home pregnancy test?

You can buy a testing kit at any drug store without a prescription. The costs range between $8 and $20 and the kit generally contains two tests.


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