Pregnancy tests are a very useful invention, usually a simple and effective way to find out whether or not you are pregnant. Although not always 100% accurate (depends on the moment they are done), they provide a first response to a woman, answer that can calm her, please her or to shock her … Without this method, many women would be forced to wait days until, if the period is late too much, to present stressed to the doctor.
How do pregnancy tests work?
These tests, designed for quick and easy use at home, work by detecting a certain hormone released by the body when the egg is fertilized and implants in the uterine lining. Therefore, a test before this time (the egg is implanted in the uterus after five or six days after intercourse) may not show the correct result. This hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin is detected in urine by using a test purchased from any pharmacy.
When to take a pregnancy test?
- If you have had sexual intercourse (even with the use of contraception), but the menstruation does not occur in time and delays more than five days, it would be appropriate to do a pregnancy test. If the result is unclear, repeat the test until it appears, and if positive, the best thing would be to go to a doctor.
Your doctor may do some blood tests and an ultrasound to give you a definitive answer. Remember, the test is effective only about six days after intercourse when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, then calculate and repeat it six days after the last sexual contact or a few days after the delay period.
It is better to do it as soon as possible logically, but it is efficiently to repeat it several times if menstruation does not occur. You have to have an answer as soon as possible to make a rational and free choice. What can happen? If you do a pregnancy test too early, you can find out you’re pregnant after a month, even more, during which you have kept the current lifestyle (smoking, drinking, you used contraception) and thus chances are that the fetus has been affected.
- If you suspect that the condom has broken or you simply have a delay of your period, take a pregnancy test (condoms are not always safe).
- If you follow treatments based on pill but forgot to take them a few days, do the pregnancy test as soon as possible!
- If your partner has not ejaculated inside but your menstruation is delaying, do the pregnancy test (few sperm cells could still be released inside you and only one is needed, but brave)!
- If you were a virgin, it does not matter, do the pregnancy test!
- If you had sex before or immediately after menstruation, logically you would not be pregnant, but it is better to do … the pregnancy test!
How do you do the pregnancy test?
Most tests found in pharmacies are used in a similar manner. You will find instructions quite clear on the box or inside it. They are accessible, simple, though not always accurate, but can help you to make a first idea. Usually, you have to keep a sample of urine in a container and immediately enter the test for a few minutes, so the result will occur. Other tests require urine dripping into a special slot test.
It is recommended that you test it in the morning because the hormone is more concentrated. After a few stressful minutes of waiting, you can read the result: if next to the control line another line appears, the result is positive – you’re pregnant! Even if the line is slightly faded, the result is positive! If nothing appears, then the test is negative.
But sometimes, if the control line (which must appear on any test) points or stains may appear vague – in this case the test is inconclusive and should be repeated. In any case, you should wait a day or two and repeat the test. If the first is positive, you should go to see a doctor where you will find a definitive answer and details on pregnancy.
How reliable are the pregnancy tests?
As mentioned, these tests are not always 100% reliable, even if you can read instructions that give you 99% accuracy. The answer depends on many factors, proper use of test: make sure it is not expired, the control line appears, it does not stand too much or too little time in urine and read the results right after the recommended time.
The accuracy of the test can be influenced by the quality and density of urine: if it is diluted, the result can be vague. Ask your pharmacist for the most sensitive test, because they differ: some are more sensitive to detect the pregnancy hormone.
The most important finding is the result of the test: the hormone is secreted in the body barely six days after intercourse which fertilized the egg, so if you do a test before results can be misleading.
If you do on the first or second day of menstruation delay, chances are you do not know anything definite, so we need to repeat the test after a few days. And if you feel the need to know as soon as possible, the safest is to go to a medical provider who can offer the answer.
It is important to know that the test may be negative, but you can be pregnant and vice versa. It is therefore necessary to use the test carefully, acquiring a sensitive test, using it on morning and especially after several days of delay menstruation.