Pregnancy Tests - Online and at Home
On-Line Pregnancy Test
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a woman had to wait to see her doctor to confirm her pregnancy. Now, you can go to our site and click on "On-Line Pregnancy Test" to find out in minutes whether you are pregnant. Of course, online tests, although accurate to a large degree, may not give you the correct answer. That's why it is important to either do a home pregnancy test or see your doctor for a blood test to confirm a pregnancy.
An online test cannot check the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your system. All pregnancy tests (other than online tests) work by measuring the level of hCG in the urine or blood. hCG is only present when a woman is pregnant, which is why it is referred to as the pregnancy hormone. Levels of hCG are detectible once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This usually happens around a week after conception; however, some studies indicate that up to 10 percent of women do not experience implantation until considerably later - after the first day of the missed period. With every passing day that you are pregnant, the amount of hCG rapidly increases in your body.
Do It at Home or See the Doc
There are two ways to check the levels of hCG in your body. One is through a blood test at the doctor's office and the other is through a urine test, which you can take at the doctor's office or at home using a home pregnancy test (HPT). Today, an HPT is almost the preferred way to determine pregnancy. HPTs are inexpensive, private, and easy to use and, if you follow the manufacturer's instructions, they're very accurate as well. Although most HPTs are accurate when done about one week after a missed period, there are some HPTs that can give you an accurate reading three days before you've missed your period.
Taking a Home Pregnancy Test - Some Help
Pregnancy testing at home is not rocket science; however, it is a good idea to read all of the directions before taking the test to be sure you don't make a silly mistake and void the test. To help you take your home pregnancy test with confidence we offer you some suggestions.
The first thing you'll need to do is determine what type of HPT you'd like to use and then buy it. Often women feel more comfortable with a name they are familiar with, or by purchasing something that came highly recommended. Most tests, despite branding, are pretty well the same. Think about buying two or three tests rather than just one - many women like to confirm their results from the first test after a few days.
Now, we know that the tests aren't difficult, but it is important that you read all of the instructions before you take the test. It's amazing how easily a test can be blown by missing one step. The tests usually come with contact information in the event you have questions and the instruction sheets are usually in at least two languages if you need something other than English.
Do Not Open Until ...
Leave the box sealed until you are ready to actually do the test. Once you are ready to proceed, have a clean space to lay all of the parts of the kit out. Double check to make sure everything is there and that you have all you need to take the test before you begin. And, be sure you have a watch. Many people forget the watch, which is probably one of the more crucial parts of the process.
If you are afraid you won't hit the spot on the test by following instructions to either catch some urine in a tiny cup or aim for the test strip, don't worry. You can collect a specimen in a larger cup and dip the test strip or use a dropper to get the urine where it is supposed to go. It's just a lot less stressful and certainly less messy.
As Soon as You Wake Up
The best time to collect the urine is first thing in the morning. Your first morning urine has the highest concentration of hCG because you probably didn't get up through the night to relieve yourself, which means there is more hCG present in the morning. Pregnancy tests work by detecting small amounts of hCG in the urine. Most HPTs request that you wait until the morning you expect your period or the next day to do the testing. Still, it is better to wait than to rush because the longer you are pregnant before taking the test, the larger the amount of hCG in your system.
Reading the Signs Correctly
There are usually two windows on the pregnancy test. A control window lets you know the test is working and the test window gives you your results. There should always be a line in the control window. If there isn't a line there, then the test isn't working - don't use it. Read the instructions to find out what kind of mark your test will use to confirm a pregnancy. Some use a line, others a plus sign and still others have a different mark or word. Be sure you find out how your test will tell you. Follow the time constraints as well. Some tests should not be read after a certain period of time and the instructions will tell you about that.
Pregnant? Yes or No
If your test is negative, you should start your period within the week. If you don't then take another test. If it shows negative, make an appointment with your doctor for a blood test or to find out why you haven't started your period.
If your test is positive - Congratulations! Hopefully, you've been taking great care of yourself in anticipation of pregnancy and haven't been smoking, drinking, using drugs, or eating foods that aren't good for you or your baby. Make an appointment with your doctor to determine when your baby will arrive.
You can learn more about preconception planning, pregnancy and all it entails on our site.