- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Mar 13 2017
What Are The Most Common Types Of Pregnancy Tests And How Do They Work?
There is no bigger gift on earth than having a life growing inside you, Agree? Yes! Knowing that you are pregnant is the most amazing feeling you must have had ever before. You will always be anxious and wait eagerly till your doctor confirms the pregnancy. Although your home pregnancy kit shows positive, you would always be waiting to hear it being positive from your doctor. Through this blog, you may understand the most common tests which are performed to confirm pregnancy.
How does pregnancy test work?
If you are pregnant, your urine sample or blood sample shows positive for human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. This hormone is produced when your uterine wall is attached with a fertilized egg.
Which tests are available for confirming the pregnancy?
It is easy to confirm your pregnancy by the following types of pregnancy tests:
Home pregnancy tests (HPT)
You can get a home kit from the market for testing, if you are pregnant or not. It is simple to use; you get the instructions on the kit that avoids confusion to use it. It works by detecting the hormone, called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. This hormone is found only if you are pregnant. You will get a chemical stick that changes its color when you are positive for the test. You must wait for at least 10 minutes to get accurate results. It makes you feel private and convenient while using this kit. If you are positive for the test, you must re-confirm it with your doctor.
Clinical pregnancy tests
Urine test: You may get this test done at your doctor’s office. A clinical urine test is more like a home pregnancy test. These are no longer considered after the hit of home pregnancy tests. Moreover, a clinical urine test would let you spend more bucks than you do for HPT.
Blood test: You must get these tests done at your doctor’s office. Blood tests give more early results compared to urine tests. So, they are expensive than home tests.
Any of the below two types of blood tests is performed to confirm pregnancy
Qualitative HCG Blood Test
This test gives a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to your pregnancy status by checking if there is any hCG being produced in your body or not. Your doctor would recommend this test for confirming your pregnancy as early as a period of 10 days after you missed your periods. But some of these tests may detect the presence of hCG, even more earlier.
How is it performed?
This procedure involves a venipuncture, for drawing the blood. You may feel moderate pain, it’s more over like a prick, so no need to get tensed. You may have certain side effects such as light-headedness, infection of the broken skin (if any), excessive bleeding or a lump or a blood clot near the venipuncture.
Quantitative hCG Blood Test
The test measures the quantity of hCG present in your blood. It can detect the low levels of hCG or high levels of hCG. Following this, your doctor might order for further more tests such as repeating the hCG test in a couple of days or may be prescribe for an ultrasound. Quantitative tests are considered to be very accurate as they can detect even the smaller amounts of hCG compared to qualitative or a urine test.
How is it performed?
Your blood sample is collected by puncturing the vein. The professional would then measure the Hcg levels and send the results to your doctor.
Other uses of hCG Quantitative Test are:
- To diagnose an ectopic pregnancy
- To check the approximate age of the fetus
- To diagnose the chances of potential miscarriage, if any
- To screen the fetus for conditions such as Down’s syndrome
The risks of quantitative hCG pregnancy test will be same as those associated with the qualitative hCG pregnancy test.
Points to remember
Can I get false results from the pregnancy test? Yes, there are chances; sometimes the presence of blood or protein in the urine may lead to false pregnancy results. In case your urine is too diluted then your test results may be false. Testing for the pregnancy in the too early phase of pregnancy also has a scope of showing false results.
Did you know? Some drugs that you use for your health conditions are also responsible for giving false pregnancy results. These drugs include diuretics, antihistamines, anti-convulsants, hypnotics drugs, etc.
Make sure you do the right tests and get an expert opinion on it. Have a happy and safe motherhood!
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