If you think you are pregnant, you can purchase an over-the-counter pregnancy test kit at most major retail pharmacies. These kits test for pregnancy by detecting the quantity of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) hormone in the urine. hCG is produced during pregnancy and can be found in the blood and urine of pregnant mothers. Here are some common FAQs about the use of pregnancy test kits:
1. When should I test for pregnancy?
Take a pregnancy test approximately 1 week after your missed period. Try to perform the test first thing in the morning when you wake up, as your first urine of the day would be the most concentrated. This facilitates the detection of hCG.
2. How accurate is a home pregnancy test kit?
The pregnancy test kits are more than 99% accurate. However, if the test is administered too early on in pregnancy, where hCG levels are too low to be detected, the result may be a false-negative. The test may be repeated a few days later. There are also instances of false-positives, where there is a temporary rise in hCG hormone, and a subsequent fall in levels. This is also known as a “biochemical pregnancy”, and its exact cause is unknown.
In addition, some women report having an intuition about being pregnant which may later be proven right. However, these symptoms are not unique to pregnancy and could be due to hormone changes or other conditions. Some women do not experience any symptoms early in their pregnancy.