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5 Things no one told you about at-home pregnancy tests

At-home pregnancy test kits are easy to use and can save you a visit to your doctor. But, there are few things you must know about these kits before you use them.

Pregnancy By Meenakshi Chaudhary / Nov 24, 2015

Picking one can be confusing

This might seem to be unlikely, but it is in fact common to get confused by pregnancy test kits and other test kits that look similar, such as the ovulation test kit. The dipstick for test kits for pregnancy and ovulation testing kits both look similar and even the process involved to get the result is the same. Therefore, it is important to check the kit and read the print on the package carefully before taking the test.

All are just testing kits

Irrespective of the price, all pregnancy test kits are supposed to indicate if the expectant woman is pregnant or not. If done correctly all test kits provide the same results. The choice usually depends on the preference. While it may seem that the digital dipsticks are better than the cheap paper strips, both deliver the same result as long as the correct process is followed. But, it is important to keep in mind that the test kits are approved by regulatory agencies. Another important factor to keep in mind while buying a pregnancy test kit is its expiration date. The test kits contain reagents and are bound to deteriorate after some time, hence its essential to consider the dates.

Timing of the test is crucial

Regardless of the expected outcome, the pregnancy test is bound to make a woman anxious. If you are taking the test, you naturally want to get the results ASAP.  HCG doubles every 48 hours and it will take time for the body to accumulate enough HCG to be detected in urine. Therefore, timing is the key. Taking the test first thing in the morning will also boost the chances of getting the right result. The first urine in the morning is more concentrated and hence would be the best sample for the test. Last but not the least, follow the directions on the pack and do not remove the dipstick/paper strip prematurely. If the package says “three minutes”, it’s essential to leave it for three minutes before looking at the results.

No false positives

The fact that the egg is fertilized by the sperm doesn't guarantee that the implantation will occur. There can be a spike in HCG once the egg is fertilized, but there are high chances of the implantation not occurring. Even after implantation, chances are that it might not hold till the next 2 weeks. This scenario may seem like a false positive if the test is taken in the early stages. Once a test is confirmed it’s important to follow up with your doctor for this very reason. This is a cause of disappointment for many women as the test reads positive in the beginning but fails after few weeks.

It can be wrong

There is an ovarian tumour which secretes HCG and leads to a spike of the hormone in the bloodstream. This can be misinterpreted by the tests which are dependent on HCG levels to determine whether a woman is pregnant or not. In case a woman is not seeking to get pregnant and a test comes out positive, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Any result which seems a little off than what was expected should be followed up by a visit to the doctor. If you test positive and still experience bleeding or you have missed a period and the test comes out negative, it is important to consult your doctor. Image Source: Getty


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