Types of pregnancy tests
A pregnancy test is a physiological test that verifies if a woman is pregnant or not. This test is considered to be very important because it is the first step taken by women for their journey towards being a mother. However, the advancement in science has made this journey simpler by providing different types of pregnancy tests. The different types of pregnancy tests range from clinical tests to over the counter- home pregnancy tests. Below are some of the different types of pregnancy tests for women who want tips for trying to get pregnant.
Home Pregnancy Tests
Home pregnancy tests are in two types, which include the digital and standard stick tests. You can use the standard stick test up to four days before missing your period as well as the digital stick test. It should be noted that testing early can result in getting a negative report. You could have a false negative, if testing too early, so be sure to wait.
Whenever you want to use these home pregnancy kits, you should use them very early in the morning because your urine and hormone level will be more concentrated then. However, this does not necessarily mean that that the test will be accurate. Ensure that the stick is placed downward in midstream urine, then lay it flat, and leave it for 3-5 minutes to give you your desired results. Also, you can collect a sample of your urine in a dry, clean container. Then, you will dip the absorbent tip of the stick into the urine sample you collected for only twenty seconds. After twenty seconds, you should place the absorbent tip of the stick downward. In order to get your desired result, the test stick with the absorbent tip should never be pointed upward.
If you get a negative result, then try again after a couple of days before your period starts. If you get a faded line, then there is a probability that you are pregnant.
Digital or non-digital
Digital tests can be used earlier than the home pregnancy tests, and are more sensitive and quicker to give the results than the standard stick tests. Most women prefer using a digital test because they flash the result “pregnant” or “not pregnant” clearly onto the LCD screen of the stick’s indicator. It is important to note that digital tests are more expensive, which are about $10 versus $3-$5 for a standard stick test. There are also some digital tests that can be connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, and it costs around $20. The accuracy of digital tests is approximately 51% when used four days before your menstrual period, 82% accurate when used three days before your expected period, 90% accurate when used two days before your menstrual period, and 99% when used on the day of your menstrual period. While standard stick tests are assumed to be at least 97% accurate when they are used on the day of your expected menstrual period.
Clinical Urine Test
Clinical urine tests are conducted at a hospital. The urine tests performed at a clinic are based on the principle of hCG as the Home Pregnancy Tests and are as accurate as the latter. Also, they are not commercially available in pharmacies. The advantage of the clinical test is that it eliminates any potential error that could alter the test accuracy, due to the help of an expert. However, you should note that the clinical urine test is more expensive than the home pregnancy tests and really no different.
Blood (Serum) Tests
These types of pregnancy tests are taken at a hospital. The hospital laboratory tests the blood of the woman to detect the presence of hCG. hCG can be detected quicker using blood tests instead of the urine tests. However, these tests are more expensive than home tests, and it takes longer period of time to get the results.
Pregnancy blood tests are of two types, and they are:
Qualitative hCG Blood Test: This pregnancy blood test checks if a woman is producing any hCG in her body. The tests give a yes or no feedback to whether or not a woman is pregnant. This test is often recommended by doctors to confirm the pregnancy status of a woman as early as ten days after missing her period. However, it is also said to discover hCG much earlier.
Quantitative Beta hCG Blood Test: This pregnancy test is the most accurate of all other pregnancy tests. It detects and measures the amount of hCG in the blood. This test is helpful in tracking any issues with the pregnancy because it measures the concentration of hCG and can catch increases or decreases if tested on different days. When combined with other tests, quantitative beta hCG blood test can also be used to detect a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. Also, it is said to monitor a woman after miscarriage when hCG levels rapidly fall.
The doctor will inform you of your hCG levels after the result has been made ready by the lab. These levels are usually measured in milli-international units of hCG hormone per milliliter of blood (mIU/ml). The normal HCG levels of non-pregnant women are usually not up to 5.0 mIU/ml. It could mean a lot of things if your hCG are not in the normal range. So it is advisable to visit your doctor to help you interpret the results.
This type of pregnancy test is also performed at a hospital. Pelvic examination is performed after 6-7 weeks of a woman missing her period. The doctor examines the pelvis by inserting two fingers inside the vagina of a woman to examine the cervix. The helps the doctor to determine the size of the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries, that are usually enlarged when you are pregnant.
The only glitch that people foresee in such tests is the cost. These tests are comparatively expensive, but nonetheless the safest bet the couples have for fertility determination.
The only issues with these tests apart from the home pregnancy tests is that they are expensive, but however, are the safest way to know if a woman is pregnant.