A home pregnancy test (HPT) is an easy, convenient and private way to find out if you are pregnant. These tests can be bought without a prescription. HPT’s measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. hCG is secreted when the egg is implanted by the cells which later form the placenta.
This usually occurs about 6 days after fertilization. The hormone levels increase rapidly after implantation. The test involves putting a drop of urine on a chemical strip. Results are usually available after five minutes or so. It is essential to read all instructions regarding sample amount, waiting (reaction) time before...
...taking the test. Some tests may have different instructions as compared to others. Some may involve passing urine directly on the strip. Results may also be displayed differently. Most tests have two lines which change color; some may even have the words pregnant or not pregnant written on them.
It is best to take a home pregnancy test about 2 weeks after you conception to get an accurate result. Most HPT’s claim to be about 97% accurate. However, if you take the test too early or do not follow the procedure outlined or misjudge the reaction time you could end up with a false negative pregnancy test result. Using diluted urine or testing at the wrong time of day could give this result too. It is best to test first thing in the morning as the urine sample has the most concentrated amounts of hCG at this time. Remember that the amount of hCG in a pregnant woman is different for each woman. Some women may test positive earlier than others. Also, some brands are more sensitive than others and can detect the presence of hCG early on in the pregnancy. Test again after a week if you get a negative result and still suspect that you are pregnant. Early home pregnancy tests can be misleading.
There are several HPT’s available in the market and the best home pregnancy test is one that has a higher sensitivity than others. Research has shown that some tests can detect up to 12.5 mIU hCG while others measure about 25 mIU/ml of hCG in the urine. The more sensitive the test is the better the result. Sensitivity will be mentioned in the package insert.
Equate HPT’s measure about 25 mIU/ml of hCG and can be used on the day your period is late. Equate home pregnancy tests are easy to read, easy to use and accurate.