If a female thinks she might be pregnant, she usually wants to know for sure as soon as possible. Typically, a home pregnancy test is the quickest way to get an answer. So, when it comes to home pregnancy tests. . .
Does it matter which home pregnancy test (HPT) you buy? Yes, it does. Pregnancy tests check for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – this hormone is produced right after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of a woman’s uterus. Some HPT brands will detect hCG sooner than others. A study of six commonly used HPT kits revealed the following:
- “First Response manual” and “First Response Gold digital devices” were the winners. Over 97 percent of pregnancies could be detected on the first day of a missed period.
- “EPT” manual and digital devices detected 54 percent and 67 percent of pregnancies, respectively, on the first day of a missed period.
- “Clearblue Easy” manual and digital devices detected 64 percent and 54 percent of pregnancies, respectively, on the first day of a missed period.
When should you take the home pregnancy test? Some over the counter home pregnancy tests advertise the fact that women can detect a pregnancy before their missed period, and that is true in some cases. However, waiting a little longer will decrease your chance of getting a negative (“not pregnant”) test when you are in fact pregnant. You basically have three options:
- Take the test before your missed period: Least accurate. The test might detect a pregnancy, but this is the least accurate option and could result in a false negative test result.
- Take the test on the first day of your missed period: More accurate.
- Take the test one week after your missed period: Most accurate.
Of course, it’s not wrong to take the test sooner rather than later. So, if you take it and get a negative result, you can always repeat the test in about one week.
- Women with irregular cycles or who are uncertain as to their last last menstrual period start date should generally wait at least 14 days from a sexual act before obtaining a pregnancy test.
- All positive home pregnancy tests should be reported to a healthcare provider.
*The serum (blood) pregnancy test that your doctor can order is more sensitive than a urine pregnancy test. The serum test might detect hCG as soon as six to eight days after conception. Therefore, a blood pregnancy test might be positive when your urine test is still negative.
If you are pregnant, don’t forget to start your Prenatal Vitamins with Folic Acid! Also, be sure to eat healthy and avoid tobacco/ alcohol/ drugs. #DrNita