Dr. Varshali Mali, MBBS, DNB - Obstetrician and Gynecologist

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Home Pregnancy Test

When to take | How to use | Accuracy

By

MBBS, DNB (OBGY)

Gynecologist & Pregnancy Doctor

Home pregnancy test

After missed periods, after unprotected sex, if you have not used any contraception methods you want to know if you are pregnant. You probably do not want to tell this to the world but what you need is just a confirmation that you are pregnant or not. Home Pregnancy Test (HPT) is a quick and easy way to find out if you are pregnant or not. This test works on detecting the hCG hormone in your urine (pee). This hormone is generated in your body only if you are pregnant.
How to do the home pregnancy test? You can get the test kit from most of the medical stores. These kits are usually not that expensive. You can also get the test kit from your doctor. For the most home pregnancy test, you either hold a test strip in your urine stream or you collect your urine in a cup and dip your test strip into the cup. If you are pregnant, most test strips produce a colored line, but this will depend on the brand you purchased. To know how to use the specific kit, read the instructions for the test you bought and follow them carefully.
When to conduct the home pregnancy test? The test result is accurate when you take them after you've already missed your period, or when your period is late. Doing the test on the day of your missed period will give you the accurate results, but its advised to wait for a week after your missed period to get results with good accuracy. Few test kits say they work a few days before a missed period, but the result accuracy is usually less. Sometime a home pregnancy test can find the pregnancy hormones in your urine as early as 10 days after unprotected sex. But these results aren't super reliable, and you may get a false positive or false negative test result. If your periods are very irregular, or you don't get periods at all for one reason or another, your best bet for accurate results is to take a pregnancy test 3 week after sex.
What is the accuracy of home pregnancy test results? To get test results with good accuracy, it is recommended using midstream urine, which means peeing first into the toilet and then into the cup to collect the sample or on to the pregnancy test strip. You can improve the accuracy of the result by using your first-morning urine for the test. If you are pregnant, it will have more hCG in it than later urines. The accuracy of pregnancy test will be less if it's expired or if you don't use it the right way. So for good accuracy, always check the expiration date on the package, and carefully read the directions that come with your kit.
What are false positive and false negative results? In some cases, you might be pregnant, but your test results are negative. This is called false negative. This may happen if you have not used the test properly, or you have done the test too early. In this case, if your period does not arrive after a few days, repeat the test after a few days or consult pregnancy doctor. In some cases, you might not be pregnant, but the test results are positive. This is called false positive. This may happen if you have used the test kit past its expiration date or if you have given an hCG injection during infertility treatment. A false positive pregnancy test result may also be seen in some cancers and other medical conditions that may produce elevated hCG levels.
If your results are positive, or you have some confusion about the outcome, consult pregnancy doctor to confirm the test results. The doctor might ask you to repeat the urine pregnancy test at a clinic or may suggest the pregnancy blood test or other options to confirm your pregnancy. Always confirm your home pregnancy test result with the pregnancy doctor.
What is the clinical urine pregnancy test? A clinical urine pregnancy test is not different than a home pregnancy test and is not necessarily more accurate. However, pregnancy doctor at the clinic will help eliminate any possible errors that might affect the accuracy of the test results. Based on the outcome of results, you can consult pregnancy doctor about further steps and options.
Home Pregnancy Test (HPT) is qualitative in nature and will tell you only if you are pregnant or not. This will not tell you how long you have been pregnant. The accuracy of results is more if you take the test a week after your missed period and when you use midstream first-morning urine. For reliable results, its advised to repeat the test twice. Always consult a pregnancy doctor to confirm the home pregnancy test results.
Dr. Varshali Mali (MBBS, DNB). Gynecologist & Pregnancy Doctor

About Author

Dr. Varshali Mali is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist. She did her MBBS from Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, and DNB (Obstetrics & Gynecology) from Jehangir Hospital, Pune. She has a number of years of experience working as a gynecologist, pregnancy doctor, and lecturer. Currently, through her clinic located at Life Republic township near Marunji, she provides gynecology and pregnancy care solutions to the women around Hinjewadi, Wakad and nearby area in Pune. In her patient community, she is known for her welcome nature, smiley face, supportive attitude, intelligence and in-depth knowledge about gynecology and pregnancy. Mother of two daughters, she believes that motherhood is the best gift one can get. As her contribution, she puts her best efforts to make the pregnancy journey most enjoyable for her patients.

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