A pregnancy test that can be taken in the comfort of your home is the cheapest and fastest way to find out if you are pregnant. You can buy it from your local store or pharmacy, you don`t need a medical prescription, and the price varies depending on the brand. But how to read a pregnancy test?
These pregnancy tests are very quick and easy to use, and if the guidelines are followed (meaning you read the instructions and you follow what they say exactly), they are also quite precise (over 97%). Most homemade pregnancy tests function in a similar way.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Take a Pregnancy Test?
- 2 How to Read a Pregnancy Test?
- 3 How to Read a hCG Pregnancy Test?
- 4 How to Read a Pregnancy Test Faint Line
- 5 How to Read an Equate Pregnancy Test?
- 6 How to Read a Pregnancy Test Clear Blue?
- 7 What If the Test Becomes Positive Later than Indicated in the Prospectus?
How to Take a Pregnancy Test?
A pregnancy test can be taken in one of the ways outlined below:
- The test strip is inserted in the urine sample;
- The urine is collected in a sterile recipient and then the pregnancy test is inserted in the urine;
- The urine is collected in a sterile recipient and a dropper is used to place a few drops of urine on the test strip.
Any of these methods you use, after the pregnancy test contacted the urine sample you`ll need to wait up to 10 minutes to see your results. They will appear either under the form of lines, colors or symbols (“+” / “-“). Digital pregnancy tests offer results under the “you are pregnant” or “you aren`t pregnant” form.
How to Read a Pregnancy Test?
A homemade pregnancy test measures the quantity of hCG from urine. The human chorionic gonadotropin, also known as the pregnancy hormone, appears in urine 10 – 14 days after conception. It`s very important to know what a positive and negative result means.
If the result is positive, then you are pregnant, no matter how blurry is the line, color or symbol. Contact your doctor for your first prenatal consultation.
In very rare cases, you can get a false-positive result, meaning that you aren`t pregnant, although the test confirms that you are. False-positive results are obtained when you have blood or proteins in urine, as well as some medicine such as tranquilizers, hypnotics and sedatives. Antibiotics, birth control pills and allergy medications don`t influence a pregnancy test. If during the last 8 weeks you lost a pregnancy or you just had an abortion, your pregnancy test will have false-positive results. Also, women who follow infertility treatments with injectable hCG will get false-positive results.
If you take a pregnancy test before having your menstruation and get a positive result, and in a few days you get your period, it means that you deal with something that is known as “chemical pregnancy” – the fertilized egg and implanted in the uterus has developed enough to product the hCG hormone, but for one reason or another has stopped from evolving. This form of miscarriage occurs when the fertilized egg is abnormal and incapable of developing in an embryo; the body has detected the egg`s abnormality and has rejected it in a natural way.
A positive result at a pregnancy test should mean that is time to take more care of you and your health. Give up smoking and alcohol, drugs or medication. If you are under treatment to remedy an illness, talk to your gynecologist or the doctor that monitors your health to inform them about your possible pregnancy. Maybe it`s time to schedule your first prenatal consultation. Until then, go to your nearest pharmacy and get folic acid, then inform yourself about prenatal vitamins and talk to your doctor about this aspect. The following period of time is very beautiful, but you have responsibilities. For the first time in a long time, it`s time to think more about yourself and less about everyone else around you. You have priority!
If the result is negative, you are probably not pregnant. There`s still a possibility to be pregnant if:
- The pregnancy test is expired or has been stored in wet or warm places (bathroom, kitchen);
- You didn`t follow the instructions properly;
- If took the pregnancy test too soon;
- Your urine is too dilute because you consumed large amounts of fluids before taking the pregnancy test (your urine should have been in your bladder for at least 4 hours before taking the test);
- You take medications like diuretics or antihistamines.
In case of a negative result after taking the test, try to repeat it after 1 week. The guidelines of some homemade pregnancy tests suggest this aspect no matter the results. If at the second test the result is positive, it`s considered that the first pregnancy test gave a false-negative result.
If you want a more secure option, schedule a gynecological consultation and ask for a pregnancy test based on blood sample.
How to Read a hCG Pregnancy Test?
Sampling a hCG pregnancy test occurs just as any other blood test. The infection place, most often the palm or forearm) is cleaned with antiseptic. A tourniquet will be placed on the upper side of the arm to apply pressure. Then the needle is inserted, and the blood will be collected in a sealed tube or syringe. Unless the doctor`s office is in the same location, the blood samples will be sent to be analyzed.
Blood tests made in medical cabinets have an accuracy of 98 – 99%. They can be made 7 days after ovulation (around 1 week from before the menstruation), but offers very precise results. Just as in the case of tests based on urine samples, it`s possible to get false results after taking such a test.
- False-negative results (the result is negative, but you are actually pregnant) appear usually when was made too soon. The reason is that the blood may not contain enough hCG hormone to detect the pregnancy.
- False-positive results (the result is positive, but you aren`t pregnant) can appear when you are making a treatment with the hCG hormone.
How to Read a Pregnancy Test Faint Line
Pregnancy tests are usually easy to read and their results are sure in a proportion of up to 97%. But you get a faint line in your pregnancy test, how you interpret the test?
Although a faint line can generally be considered as a positive result, sometimes it may be caused by an evaporation line.
Usually, if you are pregnant, you`ll get a line that is “strongly” colored, a result that cannot be put into doubt. These lines are the result of a chemical substance which reacts with the hCG hormone. In most tests, there are 2 results. The first will “tell” you if you are making the test properly and will react with the molecules from your urine. The second one will reveal if you are pregnant and will react with the hCG hormone from your blood, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin.
There are several reasons for which you may get a faint line:
- You didn`t followed the test`s guidelines properly;
- You took the test too soon;
- You actually see the evaporation line;
- You have a positive result;
- Your urine is diluted;
- You have a chemical pregnancy.
The best thing that you can do if you get a faint line is to repeat the test, maybe using a different brand. You may also contact a gynecologist and ask him to make a test based on blood sample, which has a higher probability of precise results.
How to Read an Equate Pregnancy Test?
The Equate pregnancy test can be purchase from Wal-Mart for only $4 and is a test that detects the hCG hormone in an urine sample. Reading such a test is fairly easy:
- Remove the test`s protective cap which will cover the absorbent tip.
- Hold the absorbent tip while gripping the thumb grip for at least 10 seconds.
- Replace the test`s protective cap and then lay down the test on a surface that is flat.
- Go to near a window and see if the “+” sign along with a vertical line appear in the Control window. This will reveal that you are pregnant.
- Avoid reading the test after 10 minutes.
How to Read a Pregnancy Test Clear Blue?
Clearblue recommends taking the test in the day that you are expecting your period. This test can be done even 4 days before your menstruation.
- If you are impatient and take this test rather early, use the first urine of the day. Keep the sample pointed down in your urine stream for 5 seconds.
- Wait for the symbol to flash to indicate the fact that the test will process the result.
- Check your results no later than 3 minutes. If your result is “You aren`t pregnant,” but still don`t have any period, you should do the test again.
What If the Test Becomes Positive Later than Indicated in the Prospectus?
Most pregnancy tests will indicate you to check the results in a certain interval of time, from a few minutes until 10 minutes. So, a pregnancy test read later than 10 minutes doesn`t offer results that are worth to be taken into consideration.
If you keep the test only to take a look to it from time to time, you`ll notice that after the time in which you need to interpret the results has passed, the test will become positive. The line that will appear in addition is known as evaporation line and doesn`t indicate that the test is actually positive.