5 questions about home pregnancy tests answered

5 questions about home pregnancy tests answered

The first step to becoming a mother. Knowing that you’re pregnant - that all those months of prenatal diet and exercise did pay off - is one of the best feelings in the world. The best part is that you no longer have to wait till you get your blood test results every time you think one of those swimmers has won. Pee sticks! Yeah, they’ve made life much easier for us, haven’t they? So, if you’re thinking you might have to use them anytime soon, here are a few pointers for you:

How urine pregnancy tests work:

Both blood and urine tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is present from the day the fertilised egg starts to implant in the uterus lining and is produced by cells that will eventually become the placenta. So you should ideally start seeing it in your blood or pee six days after fertilisation, which is about four days before you miss your period.

How accurate home pregnancy tests are:

Most tests claim that they produce accurate results 99 percent of the time, but that’s only in lab conditions. So it’s safe to assume that you can be 97 percent certain that your pee stick is telling you the truth. The amount of hCG in your bloodstream increases steadily over the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Starting the day you miss your period, the later you take it, the more likely you have the right result. Note that the first urine of the day is said to be most effective, since it hasn’t yet been diluted by the fluids you drink.

Is it better to verify the result with a blood test too?

If you’re late and have a negative test result when you use a home pregnancy kit, it’s probably just a false alarm and you’ll begin chumming in a few days. You might not think it necessary to do a blood test then. But if you test positive, or if you don’t begin to bleed within two weeks of a negative result, you should consult a gynaecologist, who will certainly recommend a blood test for you, perhaps among other things.

What kinds of pregnancy kits are available in India:

Two kinds. You have the strip test and the cup test. For the first kind, you just have to hold the test strip in your urine stream.The second type has you collecting your pee in a beaker and dip the test in. There are several brands available in pharmacies across the country, like the Clearblue pregnancy test (the new one claims to even measures the amount of hCG present in your urine), Prega News pregnancy kit and Velocit pregnancy kit. Use these, or any other your pharmacist prescribes, and you should be fine.

Do homemade home pregnancy tests work?

Uhh, NO. Actually, let’s rephrase that. They may work because sugar, bleach and toothpaste are supposed to react to hCG differently from regular pee. But please don’t rely on their changing colour or frothing, or believe websites that tell you that the Dettol pregnancy test is more accurate than the kits you get in medical stores. Do them for fun, if you like, or see if they produce the right result after you’ve already made sure you’re pregnant with an approved urine or blood test.

Happy trying!

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