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Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy Tests

If you believe you might be pregnant, the first thing to do is to take a pregnancy test. Every type of pregnancy test you take, whether it's in your doctor's office or over the counter, detects your level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine or blood. As soon as the embryo attaches to your uterus, hCG can be detected. This hormone is only present in pregnant women, so any sign of hCG is a sure sign that you're pregnant.

You can take a home pregnancy test, although you'll need to confirm positive results with your doctor. Home pregnancy tests are extremely accurate, and most of the time when a women gets a positive result from a test she is pregnant. A home pregnancy test can detect hCG as early as three days after you miss a period. For a home pregnancy test, you will urinate on a pregnancy indicator. Each brand of home pregnancy test is different, and the amount of time you'll have to wait to see the results varies.

Some brands are much better at detecting hCG than others, and always check the expiration date as this can affect results. Also, most tests will warn you that if you leave the test for too long, it could show a positive result even if you really aren't pregnant. So, make sure you read the directions and follow them carefully.

With a home pregnancy test, it's rare to have a false positive, which means the test shows you're pregnant when you're really not. If the test is wrong most often it's a false negative, which means that the test shows you aren't pregnant when you really are. This is usually due to the fact that hCG may not yet be apparent, so your pregnancy goes undetected. It's a good idea to buy two tests, and retake the test a few days later if you suspect you're pregnant.

If you've done a home pregnancy test that's come back positive, or believe that you could be pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible. Blood tests performed by your doctor will pick up even trace amounts of hCG, which makes them even more reliable than home pregnancy tests. These blood tests can even detect pregnancy before a missed period.

Your pregnancy test won't be affected by over the counter medications or drugs. If you're not sure, consult your doctor he or she is the best person to tell you if you're truly pregnant or not.


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