Pregnancy Test - Its Types and Accuracy of the Results

A pregnancy test is very helpful in determining whether you are pregnant or not. It detects the presence of a special type of hormone called human Chronic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the body. How to go about it, what are the available types of pregnancy tests, how to interpret the test results in the most efficient manner, etc. are some of the important questions that need to be answered- Read here! 

Pregnancy tests are performed to determine the presence of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the body. This hormone is generated after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus. If one is pregnant, the level of HCG level rises rapidly, doubling in every two to three days. But sometimes, it becomes difficult for one to determine if she is pregnant or not. The mom-to-be often suffers from symptoms like- morning sickness, restlessness, nauseous, etc. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get a pregnancy test done to avoid further complications.

What are the types of pregnancy tests?

Primarily, there are two types of pregnancy tests available- Urine test and Blood test.

Urine test- It can be performed at doctor’s place or at home. Most of the women prefer to perform this test at home with the help of home pregnancy kits. They take about a week after a missed period. One can also conduct pregnancy test online that are private and convenient. Pregnancy test cost is minimal and possesses no risk.

Blood test- Blood test is usually preferred less than a urine test but can detect pregnancy earlier in comparison to a home test. The two types of blood pregnancy tests are-

Qualitative hCG test- Qualitative HCG test examines the presence of HCG in the blood. The test is ordered to confirm pregnancy as early as 10 days after a missed period.

Quantitative HCG test- A Quantitative HCG test evaluates the exact amount of HCG present in the blood. This pregnancy test measures the concentration of HCG and is helpful in tracking any problems during pregnancy. It is also used to monitor the patient after a miscarriage when the level of HCG falls rapidly.

What is the accuracy of a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy test results are likely to come accurate if the tests are performed in the morning before breakfast when the urine is a concentrated form.

Pregnancy test positive- If pregnancy test comes positive, it indicates that one is pregnant. Post the test, one needs to consult the doctor immediately for a follow-up.

Pregnancy test negative- If the result is negative, it indicates that one is not pregnant. However, the patient needs to keep in mind that the results may come negative if the test passes its expiration date, if the test is performed in a wrong manner, if the urine is too diluted in nature if she is taking strong medicines like- diuretics or antihistamines, etc.

She should also try retesting within about a week to double-check with the help of a blood test after proper consultation with the doctor.

How accurate is the home pregnancy test?

The urine pregnancy tests are about 99% accurate in nature. However, the accuracy of the tests also depends on-

  • How one is following the instructions.
  • During ovulation, how soon the implantation occurs.
  • What is the duration of performing the test?
  • What is the sensitivity of the pregnancy test?
  • Certain medicines can also affect the test results. Some of them include- promethazine, tranquillisers, sleeping tablets, diuretics, medicines used of infertility, etc.

A negative test result means that one is not pregnant. However, it is also important to know that pregnancy tests may vary because of using different types of testing methods.

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