Many women who think they are pregnant simply buy a home pregnancy test kit and test themselves. These kits are available without prescription in any drugstore. Pregnancy test kits measure a hormone called human Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. Still, since these tests are qualitative the results are either positive or negative. More precise test for pregnancy is performed by a health care provider. The sample of blood is tested for the presence of hCG and it can also effectively estimate the amount of the hormone (quantitative test). The hormone normally doubles every 2-3 days during the first several weeks of pregnancy.
But initially the easiest way to check for pregnancy is to use the home test kits. Hormone hCG can be detected in urine starting with two weeks after conception. These tests are easily performed and even though they may be false positive or negative they represent the initial tool in confirming or ruling out pregnancy.
Home Pregnancy Test Preparation and the Procedure
In order to achieve the best results a woman should follow the instructions that come with a kit. The instructions as well as pictures will assist in performing a test. They contain information on what the test is for and what it is not for, how to collect and store an urine sample and when and how to run the test (including timing instructions).
For most home pregnancy tests a woman either holds a test strip in the urine stream as she urinates or collects her urine in a clean cup and then dips the test strip into the cup. In case a woman is pregnant most test strips produce a colored line. This actually depends on the brand of the pregnancy test. Home pregnancy test usually takes a few minutes. Some home pregnancy tests are able to detect low levels of hCG but for the most reliable results a woman should wait 1-2 weeks after she had missed her period.
Interpretation of Results
There are certain things that may interfere with the results of testing. It is essential to use only tests regulated by FDA. Furthermore, a person should follow all the test instructions in order to obtain an accurate result. It is also recommendable to check the expiration dates and storage conditions before performing a test. A woman is supposed to keep good records of her testing. Since all the tests can give false results, it is best to consult a doctor who will precisely determine whether a woman is pregnant or not.