Home Pregnancy Tests
The signs of pregnancy are all there. You're nauseous, you feel bloated and your breasts seem to have gone up a size overnight. You're pretty sure you're pregnant, but there's only one way to know for sure: take a home pregnancy test.
These tests can be very useful because they can tell you if you’re pregnant in just minutes, with a urine sample taken any time of the day, fewer than two weeks after conception. Home pregnancy tests involve placing urine on a prepared chemical strip and waiting for one or two minutes for the strip to show the result. These tests check for a hormone that is produced in excess amounts during pregnancy known as human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. hCG levels are normally low in non-pregnant woman. However, with pregnancy, your placenta produces large amounts of the hormone, causing higher amounts of hCG to be secreted in your urine.
Since hCG levels do not rise immediately, depending on how early you are in your pregnancy, a home pregnancy test can show a negative result even though you may actually be pregnant. Ideally, a home pregnancy test should be performed seven to ten days after missing your period in order to ensure a minimal amounts of false negative tests. Also it is important that you follow all the instructions correctly. If you had a negative test but tested yourself less than ten days after the first missed period, wait a few more days and try the test again. When done correctly, home pregnancy tests can be as accurate as urine tests done in a doctor’s office or laboratory.
Advantages of Home Pregnancy Tests
Here are some of the advantages of home pregnancy tests:
- Home pregnancy tests are private
- Their results are virtually immediate
- Provide a very accurate diagnosis and early in pregnancy
- Can give you the opportunity to start taking good care of yourself during the first days of conception
Disadvantages of Home Pregnancy Tests
Here are some of the drawbacks of home pregnancy tests:
- They can be somewhat pricey. Also, since you’re less likely to be confident in the results of the tests, you may be more apt to try and get a retest, thereby increasing the cost to you even more.
- If a test produces a false negative result (a negative result when you are actually pregnant), you may put off seeing a physician and taking the appropriate steps to take care of yourself.