A Pregnancy test is generally needed when a person skips a period along the menstrual cycle. It can lead to a doubt whether the person is pregnant or not. Pregnancy tests confirm this. There are other symptoms too that are related to pregnancy.
As in few cases, the person may still be having periods if she is pregnant. But these other symptoms such as tender or swollen breasts, fatigue, slight bleeding or cramping, nausea, food aversions and cravings, headaches, constipation, mood swings, and some dizziness may act as an indicator of early pregnancy.
Therefore if a person suspects of being pregnant then she should take a pregnancy test to be sure.
These tests can be taken at home or in the doctor’s clinic. Generally, the most accurate tests are obtained after a day of missed period. However, to be 100% sure, one should wait at least for a
week after the missed period to take the test.
The home pregnancy tests or the HPT can be easily done at home without any need of supervision. Most of the home pregnancy test kits that are available in the market a quite sensitive and will give accurate result even when used just the next of missed period. Some of the companies even claim to show accurate results before a missed period.
The working of the test involves the detection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in urine. This hormone is produced by the developing placenta and therefore is present in the body only in the case of pregnancy. The test involves strips of a particular type that help the chemical flow through the strip. On the detection strip, there is a specific compound that specifically combines with the hCG hormone and gives a positive result. Consecutively, the reaction between the two can be visualised with
the help of a colour change. On an average, the tests take approximately 10 minutes to show a result.
It is generally advised to take tests two times, with a time gap of two days between them. This is
done in order get a more accurate picture as there is a chance of false positive or false negative
because of the low level of hCG present in the urine sample. As these tests are quite inexpensive,
therefore there is no difficulty in retaking the test.
The clinical urine test is also one of the methods that are used for pregnancy detection. It also involves the detection of hCG in the urine sample. Although the accuracy of the clinical urine test may be same that of the HPT, but this eliminates the error that may have occurred during taking the HPT test.
The clinical urine test for pregnancy costs more than the home pregnancy test and depends upon the clinic. However, the results of the test are obtained after a week’s time. The most accurate and specific pregnancy test is the blood test.
Here, hCG is detected in the blood sample. These pregnancy blood test are of two types –
- The quantitative hCG blood test
- The qualitative hCG blood test
The qualitative hCG blood test involves a simple test that just detects the presence of hCG in the given blood sample. The result of such tests only determines whether the person is pregnant or not.
The quantitative hCG blood test involves detecting the level of hCG present in the blood sample. The level of hCG helps in determining the stage of the pregnancy. The test is also crucial as it can be used as an indicative of any abnormalities. The abnormally can be detected by comparing the results of the level of hCG with the standard levels that should have been there for a specified stage of pregnancy. If the levels detected are higher or lower than the standard, then this may indicate some other issues. To be sure the doctor may order some further tests like ultrasound to detect the issue.
The quantitative hCG blood test is the most accurate and the most specific test for determining whether the person is pregnant or not. This is because this test has the ability to determine even the smallest amount of hCG present in the blood. Therefore the detection can be done even after a week of implantation.
The only drawback that is accompanied by blood detection of hCG is the fact that it is quite expensive. Furthermore, the results of these tests take a week or two. Thus the delay in the delivery of result and the cost that comes with them is the reason why generally the home pregnancy test is used by the women.
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