Pregnancy tests aim to determine whether a woman is pregnant or not through identification of a specific hormone found in the blood or urine of a pregnant woman. This special hormone is called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is also popularly named the pregnancy hormone.
This pregnancy hormone or the hCG is developed in the woman’s body when the fertilized egg implants within the uterus. This implantation usually occurs around 6 days after the conception. In some women however it may happen later. There is a considerable increase in the hCG with every day of the pregnancy period.
There are basically two different types of pregnancy tests. In one test the blood is used to test the presence of the pregnancy hormone hCG while in the other test the urine is tested for the same hormone. The urine can be tested through home pregnancy tests and for testing blood the woman has to see the doctor. Quite a few tests indicate that they can accurately determine if a woman is pregnant on the very day she expects her period.
However research has indicated that these tests do not always give accurate results. It is therefore always advisable for women to wait for one week after the missed period so as to accurately determine any possibility of pregnancy. The biggest advantage of home pregnancy tests is that they are private, completely easy to use and inexpensive. If a home pregnancy test gives a positive indication a doctor should be consulted so that the pregnancy can be confirmed with a more advanced and sensitive test. The doctor also conducts a pelvic exam to confirm any pregnancy.
Doctors use blood tests to determine pregnancy and primarily two types of blood tests are used. Typically these blood tests can detect the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone much earlier than in any urine test. In fact the blood tests can determine pregnancy around 6 to 8 days after the ovulation.
A beta hCG test or quantitative blood test is used to measure the exact quantity of hCG in the blood. This is one of the most accurate pregnancy tests and can find even small amounts of hCG. The other kind of blood test is called the qualitative blood tests and this is used just to check if the hCG or the pregnancy hormone is present in the blood or not. The home pregnancy tests are quite popular and cost from $8 to $20 depending on the brand. Majority of these tests require the user to hold the stick in the urine stream. Some others require the user to collect urine in a cup and then the stick is required to be dipped in the urine.
While using these home pregnancy tests it is advisable to test the urine immediately in the morning as this can help determine the result with a certain degree of accuracy. The tests require the woman to wait for a certain amount of time after which the user inspects the result window. The pregnancy is determined through appearance of a plus symbol or the appearance of a line.
Irrespective of the result it is advisable for the user to repeat the test after a few days. To ensure that the test is accurate it is important that the directions on the test are followed and it is also important to ensure that the test usability date has not expired.