Home Pregnancy Test

For couples who are trying to conceive and want to test for pregnancy in the comfort of their bathrooms, the home pregnancy test is ideal. Although a blood pregnancy test in a clinician’s office could deliver accurate results a few days earlier, a home pregnancy test can be taken any time of day from home and without the pain of a needle prick.

How Does a Home Pregnancy Test Work?

The home pregnancy test detects the presence of HCG in the urine. It works by recognition of the HCG molecule via antibody binding in a small region on the test. The home pregnancy test yields a line (usually pink or blue) in the “test” region of the test if the antibody-coated region binds to ample HCG as urine is wicked past it. A control region also yields a line confirming that the home pregnancy test was operating correctly. If no line is visible in the test region within a 10 minute time frame, one can conclude that sufficient HCG was not detected. This typically means you are not pregnant, but it can also mean that you tested too early. Alternatively, if a line is visible in the test region, but no line is visible in the control region, this indicates that the test did not function properly. You should disregard such test results and try again with a new test.

When Should I Take a Home Pregnancy Test?

It is advised to take a home pregnancy test using the first morning urine at least one day after you miss your menstrual period. However, some home pregnancy tests advertise that you can take them as early as 6 days before you expect your period. The drawback to this is you might obtain numerous false negatives prior to a positive. On the other hand, you might really not be pregnant, but test daily for a full week to ensure that you were not getting false negatives. Either of these options ends up costing much more than waiting until your missed period, although the latter requires a lot of willpower.

Although home pregnancy test instructions typically do not require you to use first morning urine for an accurate result, this is the best time of day to test because your urine is most concentrated. Therefore, if you are taken a test 10 or fewer days after ovulation, you have a better chance of detecting the very scarce amount of HCG that may be present. Some women have found that the second morning urine also gives accurate results.

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