Whether someone is trying to get pregnant, or really hoping they aren't, a pregnancy test is something that every fertile woman will likely deal with at some point. It's also something that can be a lot more complicated than just peeing on a stick - false results, the best times to take it, whether brand names make a difference... there's a lot to consider when it comes to pregnancy tests.
All test's results are 99% correct but there’s a lot more that goes into finding out if a pregnancy has occurred or not. Here are 10 facts about pregnancy tests every woman needs to know!
10 The Different Types Of Pregnancy Tests
There are three ways to tell if a woman is pregnant. The most affordable choice is the home pregnancy test. It’s just like the typical urine test, but only takes a couple of minutes to get results. A urine pregnancy test can also be done with the assistance of a doctor, who can eliminate possible environmental factors that’ll affect the results. Depending on the patient’s health insurance and their choice of a medical facility, taking the test at the clinic can cost more. Results are usually revealed within a week, which isn’t too long of a wait.
The third and most expensive option is blood tests. Results can take a week and, in some cases, it can be two weeks. Blood tests give an exact reading of in two ways; by checking to see if the body is producing any hCG or how much of the pregnancy hormone is in a woman's bloodstream.
9 How To Use Home Pregnancy Tests
It's not enough to just know about the three types of pregnancy tests, women also need to understand how to use them properly. Using a home pregnancy test isn’t as hard as most new mothers-to-be may think. It’s quite easy! All pregnancy tests come with their own set of instructions, but most read the same. Just urinate onto the stick and let dry. Wait two minutes before checking to see the results.
Again, each home pregnancy differs and comes with its own set of instructions. Some may show the results as either a line or a plus symbol, which means negative and positive. Others don’t beat around the bush and flat out tell us “yes” or “no.” It’s good to know how to operate pregnancy tests especially if it’s our first time.
8 Women With An Irregular Menstrual Cycle Can Get Pregnant, Too!
Though pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate, it can be difficult to monitor if a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular. A normal cycle usually occurs when either the days between periods are shorter than 21 days or longer than 36. However, an irregular cycle will last a short amount of time and decrease the chances for ovulation. There are several causes for the irregularity in our menstrual cycle such as eating disorders, weight issues, stress issues, and even strenuous exercise. The best way to maintain a proper ovulation cycle is to eat healthily and retain a good weight.
Women who are trying to conceive should also take prenatal supplements to ensure their bodies are prepared for a pregnancy. Additionally, the herb Chasteberry restores hormonal balance and improves ovulation frequency! There are a wealth of options for women with period irregularity to choose from.
7 What Impacts The Results Of A Pregnancy Test?
When it comes to a woman determining if she’s pregnant or not, it should be relatively simple. Though pregnancy tests do provide potentially expecting women a piece of mind, there are several outside factors affecting the results. A home pregnancy test may indicate she’s not pregnant but that isn’t always the case. The results can be affected in a number of ways, such as how the test is performed, timing, and medications that already contain hCG, such as Pergonal. All these factors should be considered when a woman is trying to determine if she’s pregnant or not. If the mother-to-be is still left unsure, the best course of action is to visit the doctor!
6 Can A Pregnancy Test Tell The Gender
Home pregnancy tests can tell us a lot about a looming pregnancy, all except the sex of our baby. Yet, that doesn’t mean blood tests can’t. During the 10th week of a pregnancy, a woman has three ways of determining the gender of her baby, which include an ultrasound, genetic testing, and blood tests.
The third option is a non-invasive prenatal testing alternative that not only reveals the gender of a woman’s baby through the fetal DNA found in her bloodstream, but also checks for any signs of a genetic disorder that might have been passed on to the fetus. While pregnancy tests can’t determine the gender of our baby, blood tests can surely help.
5 Do Pregnancy Tests Expire?
When it comes to getting the best results possible and knowing everything about a pregnancy, make sure to purchase a reliable pregnancy test. Like most things in life, pregnancy test do have an expiration date and if not taken before that time, a woman could end up with the wrong results. The date is set to meet with the chemical’s expected shelf life, meaning that it will no longer be able to detect the hCG levels in a woman’s urine after that. Pregnancy test usually expire within two to three years, but cheaper ones have a shorter shelf-life.
4 A Chemical Pregnancy
Another rumor is that pregnancy tests can detect a miscarriage. This one is actually true! Known specifically as a Chemical Pregnancy, this occurrence happens when a pregnancy test shows a positive sign shortly after a miscarriage occurs. Chemical pregnancies are responsible for about “50 to 75% of miscarriages” as well. It’s unknown what causes this imbalance but if women seek the help of doctor, through a blood test, they’ll be able to detect the issue before it occurs.
A Chemical Pregnancy usually takes place right after implantation and the miscarriage happens soon after. This is especially true for women who go through the process of IVF, in which the egg is removed and fertilized in a dish before being inserted into the womb again. While this occurrence is devastating for any woman, it’s helpful to know for the future and how to prepare in the instance that it does happen.
3 Take A Pregnancy Test Early In The Morning
Another helpful tip when using pregnancy tests is to take them in the morning. Apparently, morning urine contains a larger amount of hCG, yielding the best results. This isn’t a hard and fast rule in determining a pregnancy, as the levels of hCG double every other day early in pregnancy. After the fourth or fifth week, our hCG levels are high enough to give an accurate result without the use of morning urination. A woman can take the test during any part of the day but if curiosity is getting the best of you, just stick with the early-morning bathroom routine.
2 False Negatives
Pregnancy tests not only work best with a morning trip to the bathroom, but also without the interference from the environment. When taking a pregnancy test, many women experience the common issue of a false negative due to several factors.
Some women make the common mistake of taking the test too early. During the first few days after conception, the hCG levels in a woman’s bloodstream are increasing rapidly. However, the pregnancy hormone level isn't necessarily high enough to be detected until 7 to 10 days after ovulation. Other common issues that’ll produce a false negative are the varying sensitivities of each pregnancy tests and diluted urine. These both negatively impact the detection of hCG levels in a woman’s body.
1 The First Pregnancy Test Happened In 1350 BCE!
Every modern-day woman knows the basic ins and outs of a pregnancy test. That said, most never realize that women throughout history also performed their own tests in determining a pregnancy. The earliest record of a woman testing for a fetus happened in 1350 BCE in Ancient Egypt. The story goes that a woman did her business on wheat and barley seeds for several days. The Egyptians believed that the growth of the barely seeds indicated a boy and if the wheat were to grow, that meant the woman was pregnant with a girl. If neither the wheat or barley seed grew, it meant the woman had not conceived. This would’ve been strange in modern times but nonetheless, it proved to be accurate about half of the time, according to scholars.