Pregnancy Test

Published: August 3, 2010

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Overview

If you're getting ready to purchase and take a home pregnancy test, you should be aware that the accuracy of over-the-counter pregnancy tests is not 100%. Home tests can show a false positive or a false negative. It's best to follow up any test result that you get with a visit to the doctor for an accurate blood test to be sure of the status of your pregnancy.

Also, if you think your conception date was only a few days ago but you've missed a period, wait a few more days before you purchase a test. Your period might show up just a day or two after you spend the money and take the test.

There are many different types of pregnancy testing available, but the most common is a home test in which you urinate on a swab or stick and after a few minutes, you can see the test results. Certain hormones are present in your urine during pregnancies that aren't there otherwise; you'll test positive only if the test detects that particular hormone.

Some popular brands are First Response and EPT pregnancy tests. There are digital tests that simply say "yes" or "no" on the market today, but the tests in which a single line shows pregnancy are still available. If you haven't been pregnant very long, a faint line will show. In most cases, the darker the line, the more hormones are present in your urine.

If you test positive for pregnancy, you should let your doctor know that you think you're pregnant. A test will be run at your doctor's office to confirm it, and if you are pregnant, your doctor will schedule prenatal tests. A prenatal test is something that's run to make sure you're healthy and to head off any potential problems. If you've had a history of reproductive problems like an ectopic pregnancy (when the baby develops outside the womb), these tests are important during early pregnancy. Sometimes, genetic testing is a good idea if you have a family history of certain illnesses. A glucose test might be run later in the pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. Prenatal testing is important for pregnant women, so be sure to call your doctor.

If you test negative, that means that the pregnancy test did not detect enough pregnancy hormones. Even if you've missed more than one period, a negative pregnancy test means that you're not pregnant. If you're having pregnancy symptoms, there's always the possibility that the test didn't work. If you are pregnant, negative test results are possible.

Resource

For additional information about pregnancy tests, visit the following websites:

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