Pregnancy

How Early Can a Woman Take a Pregnancy Test?

Pregnancy tests are simpler than they used to be and can now be taken at home. When pregnancy can first be detected depends on which method you are using to detect it.

How Is a Pregnancy Test Done?

The pregnancy test is done by either testing the blood or the urine. The increased levels of hCG hormones determine whether there is a pregnancy or not. There are kits available which can determine the increased levels of hCG in the blood or urine. These kits can also be used at home for testing purposes.

These contain strips that change their color if high levels of hCG are present; otherwise they will remain neutral. The test is considered positive if the level of hCG is 5 ml U/L or above.

What Is hCG and What Is Its Role in Pregnancy?

HCG, or Human Chronic Gonadotropin, is the hormone which is released in huge amounts in the early stages of pregnancy. This hormone plays an important role in the growth of the baby as it stimulates the production of other hormones, like estrogen or progesterone.

Actually, the secretion of this hormone takes place only after the zygote is formed. The formation of the zygote takes place when the egg of the female and sperm of the male combine together. This formed zygote undergoes multiple divisions which forms an outermost layer called the trophoblast.

This layer of trophoblast will continue secreting hCG until the zygote implants itself deeply inside the uterine cavity and begins its development. Actually, the ovulation and fertilization occur in the middle of the menstrual cycle, somewhere around 14 days after your menstrual period.

The zygote then moves down through the fallopian tubes into the uterus to implant itself for further development. It takes nearly nine days for the zygote to get implanted after fertilization. It is only after this that the increased levels of hCG can be detected.

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