By noticing a few common symptoms of pregnancy, such as a missed period and feeling lethargic, you can tell if you’re pregnant. Nevertheless, to confirm the pregnancy, you should take a home pregnancy test or visit your doctor. However,to be sure that you get the most accurate test results, it’s best to wait at least a week after your missed period.
A pregnancy test can be performed on either urine or blood to detect or measure the B-hCG in the urine or blood sample. The pregnancy test using urine is called urine pregnancy test (UPT). The beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (B-hCG) hormone is produced by the placenta and it usually doubles in amount every two days during the first trimester. An ultrasound (USG) can also be used to confirm the pregnancy.
Home Pregnancy Test
The UPT test strip is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacies and can be used at home. It allows the detection of pregnancy as early as two weeks after conception. The best method to use it is taking the test a week after your missed period when you first urinate in the morning because the level of B-hCG is higher.
Pregnancy Blood Test
To get a better result, a pregnancy blood test is recommended as it detects and measures the amount of B-hCG in your blood earlier and is more accurate compared to the urine pregnancy test. The test can be done at the clinic or hospital. However, blood tests are usually more expensive than home tests, and you have to wait longer for your results. The results can take up to two weeks to be delivered.
Transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound
You can also confirm your pregnancy by having a transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound to check for the viable gestational sac. These scans can be done at the clinic or hospital. The gestational sac can normally be seen as early as the fifth week of pregnancy with transvaginal ultrasound.
Transabdominal ultrasound provides a panoramic view of the abdomen and pelvis and is noninvasive, whereas transvaginal ultrasound provides a more limited pelvic view and requires insertion of a probe into the vagina. The image generated by transvaginal ultrasound provides a better view of the uterus and other adjoining organs during early pregnancy.
Home pregnancy tests are generally accurate and will usually give you sufficient results if you follow their instructions. However, the detection rates are variable depending on the type of urine test kit used. You should get blood or urine tests to confirm if you think you got a false positive or negative.
A false positive may occur due to:
- chemical pregnancy, in which your pregnancy ends shortly after the egg attaches to your uterine lining
- ectopic pregnancy
- ovarian conditions, such as cysts
- A false negative can happen for several reasons, including:
- If you are using certain medications, such as tranquilizers or antiseizure drugs.
- If you take the test when your urine is diluted from food and liquid intake. This is why you are advisable to take the test in the morning when your urine is least diluted.
- If you take the test too early after a missed period. Taking the test a few days to a week after your missed period will usually give you the most accurate results.
- If you didn’t wait long enough after taking the test.
if you think that you are pregnant, please consult a doctor to confirm your pregnancy status. It is advisable to book your pregnancy check ups early. Consult your doctor or your partner about the steps you need to take next and learn as much as you can about how to take care of yourself and your health to prepare yourself for the exciting motherhood experience.