Pregnancy

Pregnancy Tests and Exams

Womankind is blessed with the gift of progeny that in turn makes women special. To give birth and become a mother is an amazing gift. So, the first step in this ‘cycle of creation’ is ascertaining whether you are pregnant or not.

Nowadays there are primarily two types of pregnancy tests which help in the determination of pregnancy.

Doctors use two types of tests to check for pregnancy. Blood tests can pick up hCG earlier in a pregnancy than urine tests can. Blood tests can tell if you are pregnant about 6 to 8 days after you ovulate. A quantitative blood test (or the beta hCG test) measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. So it can find even tiny amounts of hCG. This makes it very accurate.

The other checks the urine for this hormone. You can do a urine test at home with a home pregnancy test whereas for the blood test, you need to see a doctor.

These days, most women first use home pregnancy tests (HPT), which tests the urine. These tests are inexpensive, private, and easy to use. Urine tests will be able to tell if you’re pregnant about 2 weeks after ovulation. Most drugstores sell HPTs over-the-counter. They cost between $8 and $20 depending on the brand and how many tests come in the box.

Most popular HPTs work in a similar way. The majority tell the user to hold a stick in the urine stream. Others involve collecting urine in a cup and then dipping the stick into it. At least one brand tells the woman to collect urine in a cup and then put a few drops into a special container with a dropper. Testing the urine first thing in the morning may help boost the accuracy of your test.

Most tests also have a “control indicator” in the result window. This line or symbol shows whether the test is working or not. If the control indicator does not appear, the test is not working properly.

The accuracy of a HPT is also determined by several factors, such as:

  • How you use them: this pertains to the expiration of the HPT which might affect the results of the test
  • When you use them- The amount of hCG or pregnancy hormone in your urine increases with time, hence it matters as to when do you use them.

If after performing a HPT, it says you are pregnant, then you should call and meet your doctor right away. Your doctor could use a more sensitive test along with a pelvic examination to confirm your pregnancy. Meeting a doctor early confirms pregnancy and also ensures that your baby stays healthy.

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