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Information: User Guides

Home Pregnancy Tests - Everything You Need to Know!

- How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?
- How Early Can I Test?
- How Accurate Are Pregnancy Tests?
- Faint Line on a Pregnancy Test?
- What is a Chemical Pregnancy?
- Can anything Interfere with Home Pregnancy Test results?

There are tons of pregnancy myths and fictions that keep circulating online. There are also pregnancy test myths as well. Before looking at all the facts, lets dispel the rumors about how to get pregnant.

First, pregnancy tests look for a hormone present in the urine or blood called human chorionic gonadotropin. One myth is that you need to wait until your first missed period to begin testing. While that may be the case with many drugstore brands, more sensitive tests allow you to begin testing a handful of days before your missed period - at around 10 days past ovulation. Lets look at a few other pregnancy facts and fictions. Pregnancy Myths:

Fiction: You can't become pregnant the first time you have intercourse.
Fact: Calling all virgins: Yes, you can conceive the very first time you have sex.

Myth: You can't get pregnant during your period or on the last day of your period.
Truth: If a woman has a short cycle, or she is only spotting, or the sperm are able to survive (in some cases up to seven days) in the woman's body, then conceiving - pregnancy - is possible!

Fiction: You can only become pregnant if the penis fully enters the vagina.
Fact: While penetration increases the odds, you can also become pregnant if ejaculation occurs close vaginal opening.

Myth: You can’t fall pregnant if you are nursing.
Truth: Nursing impacts the reproductive hormones and does decrease the chances of pregnancy; however, it is certainly possible to become pregnant while you are nursing.

More Facts on Pregnancy and Trying to Conceive

How Do They Work? Pregnancy Tests determine pregnancy through the detection of the hormone hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in a woman's urine. hCG is secreted by the developing placenta shortly after a fertilized egg has implanted in the uterine lining. The makes hCG an excellent, reliable marker for discovering if you are pregnant. Pregnancy tests come in two common formats - tests strips and midstream tests. To use a pregnancy test strip, you fill a container with urine and hold the test strip in the container for several seconds. With midstream tests, you simply hold the test in your stream of urine. Please do read the pregnancy test instructions carefully, as well as our FAQ and testing tips. For example, a first morning urine sample will provide a more concentrated presence of hCG, allowing you to detect pregnancy sooner. Also, flushing the body with liquids before collecting a sample may dilute the presence of hCG.

Interpreting Pregnancy Test Results: Once the reaction time of the test is complete (about five minutes), color bands will appear in the test region of the strip or midstream unit. All tests have a "control" band that indicates whether the test is working or not. The "test" band indicates a positive or negative result. Given proper testing and interpretation procedure, a faint line in the test region may be read as a positive result, though it's a good idea to verify any result with an additional test 24-48 hours later (using first morning urine). For complete instructions, please click here.

Early Pregnancy Tests: How Soon Can I Test?
The most sensitive pregnancy tests can detect hCG levels at as low as 20 mIU (International Units). This level of hCG is present in the urine of pregnant women at about 7 to 10 days past ovulation. If you are fertility charting with a basal thermometer, or using ovulation tests, you'll now when to begin testing for pregnancy. Test sensitivity equates with early-detection - and the lower the number, the sooner a test can detect pregnancy. If pregnant, the amount of hCG in your system should be around 25 mIU at 10 dpo (days past ovulation), 50 mIU at 12 dpo, 100 mIU at around two weeks dpo. Our pregnancy tests are the most sensitive available, sensitive to 20 mIU/hCG. For earliest detection of pregnancy, use first morning urine, as this urine sample contains the most concentrated amount of hCG and observe other testing tips from our FAQ.

How Accurate are Home Pregnancy Tests?
A home pregnancy test (hpt) is very accurate. Our tests are FDA approved and are over 99% accurate. Correct procedure and observing test-taking tips will maximize accuracy: If a test is not done correctly, it will be less accurate. Always check the expiration dates of pregnancy tests! Ours at Early Pregnancy Tests exhibit the maximum-allowable 2-year expiration date.

If you use a home pregnancy test too early in your pregnancy, you may not have enough of the pregnancy hormone hCG in your urine to have a positive test result. Most HPTs will be accurate if you test yourself around the time your period is due (about 2 weeks after you ovulate, or release an egg from your ovary). You can get a negative test result if you are not pregnant or if you ovulated later than you thought you did. You may also have problems with the pregnancy, which affects the amount of hCG you have in your urine. If your HPT is negative, test yourself again within a few days to 1 week. If you keep getting a negative result and think you are pregnant, talk with a health care provider right away.

A Faint Line Mean on a Home Pregnancy Test?
On a pregnancy test, a faint test line color band is usually indicative of a positive result, as long as it's interpreted within the given reaction time of the test (5 minutes). If correct procedure is observed and the test has been interpreted within the given reaction time, a faint line in the test region may be considered a positive. However, we certainly advise a follow up test using a first morning urine sample the following day. Other explanations for a faint positive result include: 1) Testing too soon: hCG may not be at a sufficient level. If the test line is very faint, please wait 24 hours before testing again. 2) Test Sensitivity Threshold: Different test brands are sensitive different amounts of the hormone hCG. 20 mIU (International Units) tests will display a faint line when when hCG levels are at 20 MIU, while less sensitive tests will display a negative result. As different brands may have unique instructions or guidelines, do not generalize instructions from one test brand to another. 3) Dilution of Urine Sample: Urine specimens may be compromised due to frequent flushing of the body through urination or consumption of liquids. FMU - or a first morning urine sample - is advised for pregnancy testing as it will boast the most concentrated amount of the hCG hormone.

What is a Chemical Pregnancy?
Chemical pregnancy: Sometimes a pregnancy can be detected or indicated by a pregnancy test early on - and then followed by consecutive negative results. A "chemical pregnancy" occurs when implantation takes place - but is followed by a miscarriage (in most cases, this happens before other pregnancy signs can be noticed). hCG is produced not with conception, but with implantation of the egg.

What can interfere with a Home Pregnancy Test?
Most medications, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, should not affect the results of a home pregnancy test. Only those drugs that have the pregnancy hormone hCG in them can give a false positive test result. Drugs that have hCG in them can be used for treating infertility. Clomid will not affect results on a pregnancy tests (but may cause false positives on an LH test if ovulation testing is conducted too early) . Alcohol and illegal drugs do not affect HPT results, but DO NOT use these substances if you are trying to conceive.

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