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AtarahBaby Blog

Feb 22, 2021 Joel Ajayi

3 facts about pregnancy test

Is taking a pregnancy test really so simple? You pee on a stick, wait a few minutes and get your answer, right? 

Interestingly, it’s not the way it is portrayed in movies, and if you have that feeling that you’re pregnant, there are quite some facts about pregnancy tests that you need to know before running down to the pharmacy to purchase your own pregnancy test kit. 

Heads Up; you should know that the timing of your cycle, time of day you carry out the test and the type of test you choose really matters. Are you aware that pregnancy tests can even expire? And the test kit might incorrectly give false negatives or false positives. This is not to scare you anyways.

Fine, there’s a lot of emotions that come into play when we’re talking about pregnancy testing and this is exactly why you should really be informed. To help you out, here are some facts about pregnancy tests; 

  1. Type Of Tests

Urine test is the most common and popular type of test which is often performed at home which is of one of the two types available. The other type of test is called a blood draw. Both tests are designed to detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is a hormone specifically associated with pregnancy.

The common practise most times is that urine tests are first carried out at home then followed by a blood test when a woman sees an ob/gyn for a follow-up and pregnancy confirmation.

2. Timing Is Everything

That moment when you have that sense of being pregnant, you just want all the puzzles in your mind all set up immediately. Well, this is not how it works really. If you really care about getting an accurate result, then it depends on when you ovulated. Ovulation occurs two weeks before you consider taking the test. This is also quite tricky as well except you have been tracking your ovulation using other tests. The best practical advice is to wait until a period is late. 

3. Reliability

Talking about the reliability of a test, it has to do with the testing conditions, although this doesn’t still overrule the possibility of getting a false positive or false negative. If you test too early, a result could read negative even if you do end up being pregnant. Besides, in some very rare circumstances, a test can malfunction. 

If you are suspicious of the result of a test, the best suggestion is to test from another manufacturer.

Note this; there are rare instances where false positives can occur and if they do, two conditions might be the reason and it is that hCG is also associated with rare cancers. So for this reason and more, “any time that a woman has a positive home pregnancy test, she should follow up with her ob/gyn for further testing.”

Unfortunately, there are some true positives that may seem like false ones, but are in fact true positives—just like the case of a biochemical pregnancy. This happens when a woman experiences a positive test result but at the same time experiences her period not too long after.

Blood testing which is more reliable however provides more information than urine testing. Urine testing will give you either a positive or negative outcome and they are not designed to give you the measurement of the amount of hormone and are classed as qualitative tests. Blood test however, does measure both the presence and the amount of hormone circulating in the body.

Blood tests can detect lower levels of hormone that would not trigger a positive result in a urine test, and  because a specific amount of hormone is measured with the blood test, you can follow up with the change in the hormone concentration which can be used to track the progress of a pregnancy.

You should know however that pregnancy tests should be followed by a visit or call to a woman’s ob/gyn. On the other hand, if you have missed your period yet have negative tests, then you should also follow up with the doctor.

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