Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy Test: Information and Types

A pregnancy test detects the presence of the hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine or blood. This hormone is present only when a woman is pregnant. Depending on the type of pregnancy test, it is used to confirm the pregnancy as early as seven to ten days after ovulation.

Preparation: No significant preparation is necessary for taking the pregnancy test.

Procedure: The procedure for taking a pregnancy test can vary based on the type of test used.

Types of Pregnancy Tests:

Pregnancy tests are typically available in three different forms: urine tests, blood tests, and ultrasound.

  • Urine Tests: Urine pregnancy tests are the least invasive and most common types of tests available for home use. Results are ready within minutes. They usually depend on the presence of hCG in the urine and can detect pregnancy as early as one day after the expected period.
  • Blood Tests: Blood tests can detect pregnancy much earlier than the urine test and are more sensitive. These tests measure hCG in the blood sample and can detect the pregnancy about 6 to 8 days after ovulation.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound test is the most accurate test available to determine if a woman is pregnant. It is usually done around six to eight weeks gestation and can detect the presence of a fetus as well as its heartbeat.

Risks of Pregnancy Tests:

There is no significant risk involved with taking the pregnancy test. The only possible risk is false-positive or false-negative results.

Why Should a Pregnancy Test Be Taken?

A pregnancy test should be taken when there is a possibility of having conceived. This usually means if a woman is having missed or irregular periods.

When Should a Pregnancy Test Be Taken?

The best time to take a pregnancy test is one to two weeks after a missed period. A blood test can detect a pregnancy 6 to 8 days after ovulation, and a home pregnancy test can detect an early pregnancy 7 to 10 days after ovulation.