In today’s post I will help you to understand what a home pregnancy test is, how it can be done and how accurate it is along with other frequently asked questions.
Pregnancy is a period of immense joy and excitement.
Wanting to get pregnant and waiting eagerly to know if you are positive puts you in a situation of mixed feelings. You will be excited, tensed, curious, scared and happy, all at the same time.
Home pregnancy test: 13 FAQs (Infographic)
Home pregnancy tests are a simple way to help you in such situations and put your mind at ease well before the visit to your doctor’s office.
#1. What is a pregnancy test?
Pregnancy tests are simple tests that help to know/confirm whether a woman is pregnant or not. There are two types of popularly used pregnancy tests namely urine and blood test.
- Urine test can be done at home using home pregnancy kits available at medical stores
- These tests are inexpensive and private
- Urine pregnancy test can be done at a clinic too
- In order to confirm a pregnancy doctors conduct blood tests
- You get accurate results
- Blood tests are expensive than a urine test
In both these tests, the presence of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is checked. This hormone is produced in pregnant ladies after the embryo attaches to the uterine lining.
#2. What is a home pregnancy test?
Home pregnancy test can be easily done at home with a pregnancy kit and a little urine sample. It helps to check whether you are pregnant or not.
#3. When to do a home pregnancy test?
When you have missed your period or when you notice early pregnancy symptoms it is good to opt for a home pregnancy test.
The pregnancy kits are easily available in medical shops and one can buy them without the prescription of a doctor.
#4. What are the types of home pregnancy kits available?
There are two types of home pregnancy kits available.
- Digital test kits are in which after the test the words ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ are displayed in words
- This test kit is quite expensive
- Women mostly prefer this type of kits as it clearly spells out the results
- In non-digital test kits, a particular color line or symbol appears at the end of the test
- Some kits show negative (-) or positive (+) symbols too
- These test are inexpensive
#5. When to take a home pregnancy test for most accurate results?
A home pregnancy test will show the most accurate results if you are performing the test after 1 week of your missed period. This is because by then if you are really pregnant the HCG hormone levels in your urine would have raised very well for the kit to detect it with a higher degree of accuracy.
If you are anxious and cannot control your curious mind you can definitely take the test on the same day or the next day of your missed period.
Many brands claim that they will give accurate results even on a day or two before or after your expected menstrual date. But for more accurate and reliable results a gap of 1 week is recommended from the first day of your missed period.
It is apt to do the test in the early morning as urine is concentrated and will have high hCG levels in morning.
#6. How to take a home pregnancy test?
A home pregnancy test can be easily conducted by following the instructions given on the pregnancy test kit.
Various brands of home pregnancy test kits are available in the market with almost similar and simple instructions to use it.
Before using the kit do check its expiry date. A new kit will show more accurate results. Also check whether the kit has any damage. Don’t use a damaged kit.
You can collect the urine in a cup and dip the test stick into it or a dropper can be used to put the urine into the test kit or you can directly urinate onto the test stick. Once the urine sample is applied onto the test stick, the pregnancy test device is placed horizontally and one has to wait a few minutes for the results to be displayed.
The results will be in the form of color or symbol or digital display depending on the test kit that you are using.
#7. How to understand the results of a pregnancy test kit?
Digital test kits will clearly display “pregnant “ or “not pregnant” in words and so you don’t have to worry about how to understand the result, it is pretty straightforward 🙂
Non-digital test kits will have either a specific color code or symbol displayed as the result.
#8. What does the color lines indicate in a pregnancy test kit?
Some kits show results in color lines i.e. it may be in violet or pink color line. Two colored lines mean you are pregnant. One colored line means you are not pregnant.
And if there are no lines, the test conducted is nil/invalid and you need to perform the test again.
Sometimes, especially if you are taking the test much earlier than your missed period, then you may get one faint line and one bright line. This indicates that you can be pregnant.
#9. What does the symbol in home pregnancy test kit indicate?
Some pregnancy test kits show a positive and a negative sign as the result. Positive sign (+) indicating pregnancy and a negative (-)sign indicating not pregnant.
#10. What to do after a pregnancy test?
If you get a positive pregnancy test, do a happy dance. Book appointment with your obstetrician/gynecologist. Your doctor will give you further guidance and the necessary medications.
During the test if you get a negative result, but you very much suspect a pregnancy please repeat the test after a gap of 3-4 days. The false negative can be because of the lack of sufficient amount of HCG in your urine.
If you are very sure that you are pregnant and still don’t get a positive pregnancy test after repeated testing, please consult your doctor.
#11. How accurate is home pregnancy test?
A home pregnancy test will give you a 99% accurate result if the instructions that come along with the kit are followed well.
The accuracy of the test can be affected if you are taking certain medicines.
#12. What are the disadvantages of a home pregnancy test?
- If the test is performed in a wrong way the result will not be accurate
- If the urine lacks ample amount of HCG hormone, the test can show a false negative
- If we are under some medications, the result of a home urine test can be false
- Sometimes the lines will be faint or not visible properly. This can lead to confusions
- Sometimes performing the test too early can also give a false result
#13. Tell me about your experience of home pregnancy test
I suspected pregnancy and had minor symptoms of pregnancy within a week of missed period.
I did a home pregnancy test and I was tested positive. Further a blood test at the doctor’s clinic confirmed that I was pregnant 🙂
Mommies, how was your experience using home pregnancy test? Do share your views in the comments.
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Image: Daniel Lobo