Pregnancy tests

Pregnancy tests

Pregnancy test kits that you can use at home are widely available in the market, and most of them are 99% accurate if used correctly. 

Types of pregnancy tests
All pregnancy tests detect the same thing — the level of the pregnancy hormone hCG. This is because, after conception, your body starts to produce this special hormone, and the longer into the pregnancy, the more hCG is produced. 

There are two main types of pregnancy tests:

Urine test: Most over-the-counter pregnancy test kits use urine samples to detect hCG. Urine tests are affordable and give accurate results. Depending on the type of pregnancy test kit you use, if you are pregnant, the result is usually displayed as two vertical lines or a plus sign. If you are not pregnant you’ll see just one vertical line or a minus.

Blood test: Blood tests are more expensive than urine tests but are more sensitive — they can detect pregnancy earlier than urine tests. However, blood tests are often performed in the doctor’s office. 

When to take a test
Most urine tests can detect hCG at around 10 days after conception, which would be around 14 days after the beginning of your last menstruation period. To get the most accurate result from a home test, you have to do it after you missed your period — before this, your hCG level might not be high enough to be detectable. Note that the first urine in the morning is the best sample to get a more accurate result because of the high concentration of hCG.

What’s next
Pregnancy results from home tests kits are usually accurate; however, false negatives or positives can happen. For example, false negatives can occur if you take your urine test after drinking too much water, and your sample becomes too diluted for the test to detect hCG hormone.

If you get positive readings from your home pregnancy tests, congratulations! You should now book an appointment with a doctor to confirm your pregnancy and discuss how to proceed with the next step.


Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (10 December 2021)


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