Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. It can also be nine months of worry and apprehension.
The best way to combat concerns over one’s pregnancy is by developing a relationship with a good doctor from the get-go. That means that if you suspect that you are pregnant, you will want to find out for sure as soon as you can.
Fortunately, you can find out if you are pregnant even before you miss a period with the help of an early pregnancy test. These tests are widely available, relatively inexpensive, and will confirm a pregnancy from the privacy of your own bathroom.
As the early pregnancy tests have been developed to be much more sensitive, you have the advantage of testing even earlier into your pregnancy. The earlier you find out for sure if you are pregnant, the earlier you can seek prenatal care. Early prenatal care is important for ensuring the health of the baby as well as the mother.
What You Should Look for in an Early Pregnancy Test
Early pregnancy tests can vary considerably in their degrees of sensitivity. A home test generally will detect HCG in a urine sample as a means of confirming a pregnancy.
The hormone HCG appears at the time that the embryo implants into the uterus, and increases exponentially in the early days and weeks of a pregnancy. The more sensitive a home test is, the smaller amounts of HCG it can detect.
This means that more sensitive tests are generally able to confirm pregnancy days earlier than those that cannot identify HCG as easily. Early pregnancy tests vary in sensitivity from 20mIU, which is the least sensitive, to 50mIU, which will detect pregnancy at the earliest stages.
These tests can be used even before a period is missed – as early as a week after conception! Keep in mind that no matter how sensitive the early pregnancy test is, you will get the most accurate results closer to the time your period is due.
How to Perform an Early Pregnancy Test
Early pregnancy tests are conducted in your own bathroom, by holding the test strip under your urine stream. It is generally recommended that you do your test first thing in the morning since HCG levels are usually easiest to detect at this time.
Depending on the type of early pregnancy test that you use, you will wait to see if your stick develops a line or a plus sign, or changes color. Most tests will also come with a test window to ensure that the test works properly.
If you receive a positive result on your early pregnancy test, your next step should be to call your doctor to confirm the results. Your doctor can perform a blood test as well as the urine test to ensure the accuracy of results and put the question of how do you tell if you are pregnant to bed.