What To Expect From A Home Pregnancy Test
By Sarah Mitchell
A home pregnancy test is a quick and efficient way of finding out if you're pregnant. They have a high accuracy rate (about 97%) and are available from most drugstores. If you are unsure how a pregnancy test works, read on!
How does a home test work?
When a woman is pregnant, she starts developing a hormone called HCG. Basically, these tests measure the amount of this hormone in your urine. Home pregnancy tests vary in sensitivity so depending on the one you have purchased, some may detect pregnancy earlier on than others. If you are unsure to this, read the instruction or back of packs and they should be able to tell you how sensitive that particular home test is.
When to take a pregnancy test
There is no one answer as to when to take a pregnancy test. Again, this is dependent on the particular brand of pregnancy test you purchase. Some tests state they are able to detect pregnancy as early as six days after ovulation but the most accurate tests are those that detect pregnancy about 14 days after ovulation. For most women, this falls mid-way through their ovulation cycle. Even if your menstrual cycle is very regular, it is safest to wait at least a week after your period was last due before taking a pregnancy test. This ensures the most accuracy.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests?
Research suggests that pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate. Although false positives can occur, this is very rare. As long as you follow the given instructions, these tests should give you a reliable result. Taking a test before your period is due is not recommended. As aforementioned, for the most reliable results, it is best to take a test after your last period is due. Negative tests which later on turn out to be positive are generally not due to the product being faulty or unreliable, but rather, the test was probably taken too early. Of course the most accurate way to find out whether you're pregnant is to see a doctor.
Should I take a home pregnancy test?
If your period is late or if you are suffering from possible morning sickness and sore breasts, more than likely you are pregnant. Before taking the next big step in seeing a doctor, taking a home test is a great alternative. If your period is late, this means that you are already post-ovulation and this is the best time to take a test.
Remember that whilst the pregnancy test is very reliable, it is customary to go see a doctor to confirm the results and to wait the 3 month safety period before announcing the news.