One may wonder about home pregnancy test accuracy and how this test works to determine pregnancy. The answers are simple. A pregnancy test at home measures how much of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin there is in one’s urine. This hormone is produced by the cells of the placenta and first enters a woman’s bloodstream when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This takes place about 6 days after fertilization. The amount of human chorionic gonadotropin increases during the following weeks and generally doubles every two days. There are many types of pregnancy tests available, but most work by placing the end of the dipstick into one’s urine stream or immersing the dipstick in a container of urine for up to ten seconds. Soon after this, one will see a plus or negative sign; a line or two lines; a color change; or the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant” on a window on the test. Other types of tests ask one to mix urine with a certain liquid or power, and if the urine changes colors, the result of the test is positive. One should always, however, read the instructions that come along with each kit and contact a doctor or the test’s manufacturer with any questions or concerns.
Instructions may vary slightly from kit to kit. Read the instructions carefully before you take the test. If you have questions about how to do the test or interpret the results, call the manufacturer. Look for a toll-free number or the manufacturer’s Web site in the package instructions.
Most pregnancy tests claim that one can take the test as soon as a menstrual cycle has been missed, as this is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Most doctors, however, agree that though some tests may detect the hormone that early, one generally should wait a week after missing an expected menstrual cycle. It is important to note that some women develop detectable levels of the pregnancy hormone later than others, so getting a negative pregnancy result soon after missing a period does not mean that one is definitely not pregnant. If done correctly, most pregnancy tests are about 99 percent accurate.
For the best home pregnancy test results, one should choose the right pregnancy test. Many doctors recommend First Response Early Result, as this test has been found to be quite sensitive to the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. One should pay attention to the package inserts, as they contain information about a pregnancy test’s sensitivity by reporting the lowest amount of human chorionic gonadotropin it can detect. One would want to choose the test with the lowest miu/ml, which stands for milli-International units per milliliter of urine. One should also try and use the first urine passed in the morning for the test, as this contains the highest amount of the hormone. Following these steps will increase one’s chances of home pregnancy test accuracy.