The earliest test for pregnancy is a rosette inhibition assay for early pregnancy factor (EPF). EPF can be detected in blood within 48 hours of fertilization. However, testing for EPF is expensive and time consuming.
Most chemical tests for pregnancy look for the presence of the beta subunit of hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood or urine. hCG can be detected in urine or blood after implantation, which occurs six to twelve days after fertilization.
A pregnancy test is essential to confirm ones pregnancy because all the subsequent steps depend on the findings of this test. The pregnancy test helps one to measure the level of a specific hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin(HCG), present in ones urine. This hormone is produced when a fertilized egg gets rooted in the uterus and this usually occurs after six days of the fertilization. The level of HCG in the human bloodstream increases after the fertilization of the egg.
Pregnancy Test Kit
A number of pregnancy test kits are easily available in the market and are very easy to use. These kits involve collection of a urine sample to measure the level of HCG in a persons body. It is better to collect the sample early in the morning when the hormone is undiluted. A pregnancy test kit contains a strip that needs to be dipped into the urine sample. These test kits use different methods to show the results of the sample. While some show positive (+) or negative (-) sign to indicate the result, there are others that show pink or purple lines to confirm the pregnancy.
Sometimes the test may give a negative result, despite one being pregnant. In that case one should check for the timing or regularity of the periods or the menstrual cycle. It is also advisable to take another pregnancy test or visit the doctor for proper advice.
Is a super sensitive pregnancy test the best to use?
For most women, the resounding answer would be YES! It allows you to know earlier if your attempts to conceive were sucessful and get medical care as soon as possible. There *is* a down side to extra sensitive pregnancy tests though. 25% of all pregnancies unfortunately end in miscarriage and many of these being very early pregnancies. If you use a very sensitive pregnancy test, where you test before the day your period is due, you could catch an early pregnancy but end up going on to have your period anyway due to a very early miscarriage. Some women will find it very hard to deal with this sort of emotional rollercoaster.
Home Pregnancy Test Overview
If you think you are pregnant, you may want to test yourself at home with a home pregnancy test. You can buy test kits at a drug store without a prescription. Home use kits measure a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. However, these tests are qualitative, the results are either positive or negative for pregnancy.
The most sensitive test of pregnancy is best performed by a laboratory using a sample of your blood. These tests not only detect hCG but also can indicate the amount (quantitative tests) of the hormone, which doubles every 2-3 days during the first several weeks of pregnancy.
How accurate are home tests?
Home tests are very accurate (around 97%) when used correctly. Some kits come with two tests because mistakes do happen.
If you take a test too early, you may get a false negative (when the test says you are not pregnant but you are). Your body needs time for the hormone to rise to a high enough level to be detected in a test. If the test comes back negative but you still think you could be pregnant, wait a few days and try again.
False positives (when the test says you’re pregnant but you’re not) are possible, but rare. A positive pregnancy test is a pretty good indication that you are pregnant.