Home Pregnancy Test Sensitivity
Home pregnancy tests differ in many ways. Some show a plus sign to indicate pregnancy, others show two lines for pregnant, and one for not pregnant. More modern, digital Home Pregnancy Tests (if you can consider something that requires you to pee on a stick “modern”) actually show the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant,” but results may not be as immediate as with non-digital tests.
More significant than how they deliver the information, though, is the test’s sensitivity. A home pregnancy test’s sensitivity affects how early it can accurately deliver the good news.
How soon can I take a home pregnancy test?
Sensitivity is based on the lowest amount of the pregnancy hormone hCG the home pregnancy test can detect. The less hCG your home pregnancy tests needs, the earlier the test will be able to detect pregnancy. Some home pregnancy tests can be taken as early as five days before your missed period.
There is a greater chance of false positives and chemical pregnancies with early home pregnancy tests.
A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage, in which the fetus is spontaneously aborted before a heartbeat could even be detected. In the case of a chemical pregnancy, you will get your period as scheduled, or perhaps a little bit later. It may be heavier or more painful than usual, with more intense cramps, or it may simply come as scheduled without incident, your positive pregnancy test is the only indication you had ever been pregnant at all.
Before choosing the most sensitive home pregnancy test on the market, weigh the risks of knowing as soon as possible about your pregnancy with the potential disappointment if the pregnancy does not stick. Women who experience multiple chemical pregnancies should see their doctor about possible treatment.
In the past several years, pregnancy tests have advanced. Most tests now have a sensitivity level where they can detect 25 mIU of hGc and can be used as early as five days before your missed period. AimStrip tests and BabyHopes tests can detect hCG levels as low as 20 mIU.
For best results, be sure to use your first morning urine.
If you are farther along in pregnancy, a test later in the day – as long as it’s been at least two hours since you last urinated – may still give a positive result.
If your test does not work, your urine may be too diluted from drinking too much water. Wait two hours without drinking anything and try again.
Author: Dawn Allcot
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