Whether it’s the first, second, or third baby, the moment when the pregnancy test is positive is one of the most exciting ever. Hamiləlik testi nədir? (What is a pregnancy test?) When can I start testing? And how reliable is the result?
How does the pregnancy test know if I’m pregnant?
The test detects the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (short: ß-HCG) in the urine. After implantation of the fertilized egg, the hormone is produced by the early placenta to preserve the pregnancy. “Due to the sudden increase right at the beginning, it is ideal for detecting pregnancy in the early phase,” says pharmacist Carina Eichenseer from Hirschau.
The selection of tests is huge. Which one is the best?
Taste. If you prefer to read the magic word “pregnant” in black and white from the test than to interpret strokes, a digital test is well served. Pregnancy tests with the digital weekly display also provide an indication of how long the pregnancy has existed. “This could possibly be quite interesting for women with rather irregular cycles,” says Eichenseer.
When is a pregnancy test meaningful?
Early tests already respond to an HCG concentration of 10 mlU/ml (milli-international-units per milliliter), a value that is sometimes reached four to six days before the absence of the period. However, a large proportion of pregnancies leave before the expected menstrual period. Without an early test, a woman might not have even learned that she was pregnant – so the knowledge can burden her.
Standard tests can only be used from the due date of the period. Carina Eichenseer recommends waiting at least until the day of the due period or even one or two days longer: “The further the pregnancy has progressed, the more meaningful the result.”
How much does a pregnancy test cost?
Pregnancy tests are already available for about four euros. The digital tests cost a little more.
How does a conventional pregnancy self-test work?
The usual pregnancy tests respond to pregnancy from two weeks after fertilization of the egg or from the first day of the absence of menstruation. The HCG contained in the urine triggers a chemical reaction with the enzymes on the test strip.
For this purpose, hold the test strip in the urine stream. According to the hCG content, discoloration occurs in the result window. Most common: Two stripes = pregnant, one strip = not pregnant.
Note on times in pregnancy: In medical use, the weeks of pregnancy are counted from the first day of the last menstrual period – i.e. actually two weeks earlier than fertilization took place.
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Pregnant despite negative test – is that possible?
Yes! “For example, if the pregnancy test was used too early,” explains the pharmacist. Not all women know the due date of their menstrual period one hundred percent. Perhaps ovulation has been postponed or the implantation of the fertilized egg has taken a little longer. “Anyone who is convinced that they are pregnant despite a negative result should simply repeat the test two days later or go to the gynecologist,” advises Eichenseer.
Even if the pregnancy has already existed for more than 20 weeks, the HCG value may have already dropped so much that the test does not measure it. Many bacteria in the urine can also be a cause of a false-negative test.
Does light positive also mean pregnant?
A stroke is a stroke, and even a weak result is positive. “The color intensity of the strip depends on the hormone concentration in the urine,” explains Carina Eichenseer. And it could be very weak, especially at the beginning. In principle, the test can be carried out at any time of the day. However, the pharmacist advises women to perform the test best with the first-morning urine. “Overnight, the hormones accumulate in the urine and are therefore more concentrated.” The probability that the result will be clearer is therefore higher in the morning. If the result is positive, a doctor should confirm this.
Are there also false-positive results?
Seldom. “With a positive result, you can always assume that you are really pregnant,” says Eichenseer. Although certain tumors also produce the pregnancy hormone, these are extremely rare. Some women who undergo fertility treatment are injected with the pregnancy hormone. You should ask your gynecologist what time interval you have to keep to the test in order not to get a false-positive result.
Important: Most tests are only ten minutes meaningful. “Everything that happens afterward on the test strip is not valid,” says the pharmacist. The test reacts with humidity, and the urine dries up, and through all these things a line can both appear and disappear. Her tip: “Throw the test into the trash can after ten minutes and please don’t get it out and look at it again!”
What to make of pregnancy test oracles?
Is the line thickness increasing day by day, is pregnancy developing well? Is the line thick and colored, is it more likely to be a girl because the HCG concentration is higher? “All this is complete nonsense,” says Carina Eichenseer. “Pregnancy tests are not at all suitable for determining the exact amount of a hormone.” After all, the urine is always concentrated differently and the amount that ends up on the test strip is never comparable.