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Everything you need to know about pregnancy tests

With such a wide range of pregnancy tests to choose from, choosing a pregnancy test can be challenging. To make it easier for you, here at Clinical Guard, we have created a pregnancy test guide to help make that decision just a little bit simpler. In this pregnancy test guide, you will find everything you need to know about pregnancy tests.

 

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How do pregnancy tests work?

Pregnancy tests work by measuring the levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, more formally known as hCG, in the bloodstream. When women get pregnant, hCG is released into the blood, making it the target of most pregnancy tests. More specifically, there are substances on pregnancy tests that bond to hCG, signifying a positive pregnancy test. If there is no hCG, the pregnancy test gives a negative result, signifying you are not pregnant.

How to know if you are pregnant:

Despite what a lot of other websites say regarding signs and symptoms of pregnancy, the only real way to determine if you are pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test—unless that it is, you actually feel your baby kicking, are getting disproportionately large in your abdomen area, or you have a baby.

Many of the signs and symptoms, such as cramping, irritability, and food cravings, are nearly impossible to distinguish from those with the premenstrual cycle, and will most likely drive you crazy, increasing your stress levels. The irony is that increased stress levels may actually delay your period,, further exacerbating your stress.

When should you get a pregnancy test?

There are many reasons to get a pregnancy test. The most common ones being:

  1. You recently had unprotected sex and think you may be pregnant.
  2. You recently had protected sex, but are late on your period, and want to determine if you are pregnant.

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What types of pregnancy tests are available?

There are three basic types of pregnancy tests that we will describe indetail in this pregnancy test guide: pregnancy test strips, handheld pregnancy tests, and blood tests.

Pregnancy Test Strips:

Pregnancy test strips, like those found at Clinical Guard, require you to pee into either a glass or plastic container. For optimal results, the container must be dry and clean, to avoid contamination. After collecting your urine:

  1. Remove a pregnancy test strip from the package.

  2. With the arrow of the test strip pointing down, insert the strip into the urine, making sure not to insert the test strip past the max line.

  3. Let the strip sit in the urine for 3 seconds, before removing and placing on a flat surface.

  4. Approximately 5 minutes later (no more than 5 minutes), check the test for a positive result. For the most accurate results, time exactly 5 minutes and check, as there is a chance that waiting longer than 5 minutes can cause an inaccurate reading.

  5. When checking the reading, a positive pregnancy test signifies two pink lines, while a negative reading will show only one.

Pregnancy Test Sticks

Although the instructions may vary, when using pregnancy test sticks, urinate onto the specified part of the pregnancy test for approximately 5 seconds, and then wait a few minutes to see the result. Pregnancy tests come in both a non-digital form and a digital form. When reading the results on a digital pregnancy test, it will simply state “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” On a non-digital pregnancy test, like pregnancy test strips, a pink line indicates you are pregnant.

Blood tests

Taking a blood test is another way to check for pregnancy, and provides a highly effective way to detect pregnancy. Your doctor will check your hCG in the blood in one of two ways: qualitatively or quantitatively.

In a qualitative blood test, not only does it tell you whether or not you are pregnant, but can determine how long into your pregnancy you are, if you are indeed pregnant, and can detect certain issues or abnormalities in the early stages of pregnancy.

A quantitative blood test, on the other hand, will let you know if you are pregnancy with a simple “yes” or “no” answer, and will not provide any additional information.

Both qualitative and quantitative blood tests are able to give results anywhere from 3-48 hours after the test is completed.

 

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Which pregnancy tests are the most accurate?

If used correctly, all the different types of pregnancy tests are more than 99% accurate. However, how early a pregnancy test is able to detect pregnancy depends on the method used.

The quickest way to determine if you are pregnant or not is to take a blood test. On average, blood tests can determine pregnancy 7-12 days after conception.

When it comes to pregnancy test strips and digital pregnancy tests, the sensitivity of the test determines when it should be used. Pregnancy tests range from 10 mlU to 40 mlU. The lower the number, the higher the sensitivity, and the sooner it can be used to accurately detect pregnancy.

As you continue along in your pregnancy, levels of hCG increase. On average, one week after conception, hCG levels are about 14 mlU, two weeks after conception, approximately 21 mlU, three weeks, 42 mlU, and so on. This is why the more sensitive pregnancy tests are able to detect pregnancy tests more quickly.

Blood tests are able to determine pregnancy at about 10 mlU while Clinical Guard test strips are able to detect pregnancy at 25 mlU, making them accurate at approximately 2.5 weeks after ovulation. To play it safe, it is recommended you wait a week after your missed period to check for pregnancy.

Is there a chance my pregnancy test reading is wrong?

Although the chances are low, there is always a possibility your test gave you a false negative or a false positive. If you are to get a false reading, the chances of a false negative are substantially greater than a false positive, for the following reasons:

  1. You decided to test too early and your hCG levels are still too low for the pregnancy test to detect. This problem can be solved by waiting a few days and trying again.

  2. You waited too long to check your reading (more than 5 minutes). If you think you waited more than 5 minutes, simply take another test and time exactly 5 minutes before checking.

  3. The pregnancy test did not get saturated in urine, as required. Pregnancy tests need to be completely saturated in urine to work effectively.

  4. You drank a lot of water and your urine is diluted, making hCG difficult to detect. To help with this problem, don’t go overboard with the water for a day and check your first-morning urine, as this is the most concentrated urine.

Additionally, there is always the rare chance the test malfunctioned. In this case, it is recommended to take another test to make sure your first test was accurate.

 

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Possible reasons for a false positive pregnancy reading:

The main reason there would be a false positive is if there is hCG in your bloodstream not related to your pregnancy. Possible causes for this include:

Fertility drugs using hCG:

Many fertility drugs utilize hCG to help promote fertility and the women’s ability to get pregnant.

HCG diet:

The popular hCG diet involves injecting hCG into the bloodstream, to promote weight loss.

You are sick:

Many diseases of the liver, cancers, and other medical conditions, including choriocarcinoma and IGA deficiencies may cause a false positive.

Can medication cause a pregnancy test to be wrong?

Medications, such as birth control and antibiotics, will not affect the results of your pregnancy test. Unless the medication you are taking contains hCG, it will not have an effect on the results of your pregnancy test reading.

Do drugs and alcohol have an effect on a pregnancy test reading?

Although using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy is detrimental to the health of your baby, it will not have an effect on the accuracy of your pregnancy test reading.

Tips to help improve accuracy of your pregnancy test:

Follow the directions closely.

Every pregnancy test is different.

Use first-morning urine. 

Your first-morning urine is the least diluted, making it easier to detect hCG.

Be patient.

Testing early increases the chances of a false reading. Although very challenging, waiting and being patient will greatly decrease the chances of a false pregnancy reading.

Check the expiration date:

Every home pregnancy test has an expiration date. If the test is beyond the expiration date, chances are it is no longer accurate and will give you false readings. To guarantee accuracy, check the expiration date of your pregnancy test before purchasing.

What if the line on my home pregnancy test is faint?

This is a common question when using a home pregnancy test. The darkness of the line represents the amount of hCG in the urine. A small amount of hCG will cause the line to be very faint. This is most likely because you are testing early in the pregnancy when the levels of hCG are not very high. However, any amount of hCG detection by your pregnancy test is indicative of a positive pregnancy reading, and if you are able to detect a faint pink line, chances are you are pregnant. It never hurts to take multiple pregnancy tests to make sure you are getting an accurate reading, so waiting a few days and checking again is a good idea.

When should I take a pregnancy test reading?

Blood tests are able to detect pregnancy 6-8 days after ovulation, so most pregnancy tests should be used about 1 week after a missed period.

How much do pregnancy tests cost?

Pregnancy tests vary in prices, depending on the test. ClinicalGuard Pregnancy Test Strips are some of the cheapest and most reliable pregnancy tests on the market, priced at $7.99 for 25 test strips or $5.59 for 10 test strips. Other pregnancy tests range in price from about $8 to $20.

 

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Pregnancy blood tests, which are often covered by insurance, range in price from $50 to $200. If you are considering a blood test to determine if you are pregnant or not, contact your insurance to see if you are covered.

Where can you purchase a pregnancy test?

The easiest way to purchase a pregnancy test is online, found here. You can also purchase pregnancy tests at most drug stores, with no prescription necessary. To get a blood test, call your physician to schedule an appointment.

We want to help!

At Clinical Guard, we have been providing high-quality healthcare products to hospitals and individuals for over a decade, and would love to help you with any questions you may have. If you have any questions not mentioned in this pregnancy test guide, please do not hesitate to ask us. We will answer all of your questions and clear up any confusion you may have. Having a child is a beautiful, life-changing event and not having the information you need to make informed decisions can be stressful. We can be reached at 1-888-769-4827 or online at www.clinicalguard.com/contacts.

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Looking to purchase pregnancy test strips?

There is no suspense like the suspense of wondering if you are pregnant. Don’t wait. Find out now. For a limited time, Clinical Guard is offering 25 pregnancy test strips for only $7.99!  They are fast-acting,  highly accurate, and very easy to use. It is important you act fast, because for a price this low good, they will be selling out quickly. To purchase, click here, “add to cart”, and follow the on-site prompts. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-769-4827.