Are you suspecting you are pregnant? If yes, you should do a home pregnancy test to eliminate your doubts. The two most common pregnancy tests are a blood test mostly done in hospitals and a urine HCG test. A home pregnancy test has become a common method of testing pregnancy as many people prefer this method because of its convenience and privacy. Basically, the work of a home pregnancy test is to determine whether human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is present in the urine. HCG is a pregnancy hormone released by the placenta. When fertilization occurs, HCG levels continue to rise rapidly and women take a home pregnancy test mostly after they’ve missed a period. While home pregnancy tests are associated with numerous advantages, not following the proper procedures will lead to getting the wrong result.
Don’t Test Too Early
To get the best results, you need to know when to take the home pregnancy test. Even though a home pregnancy test can be taken around three to four days after a missed period, it is advised to wait for at least a week later after your expected period date. This gives a more conclusive and accurate result rather than taking the test too early. There is no harm in doing a test more than once especially if you want to be completely sure about an outcome.
Check the Expiry Date
A home pregnancy test can only yield accurate results if the kit has not expired. When purchasing a kit, ensure to carefully check the expiry date. Never purchase an expired pregnancy kit as it will likely give you the wrong results. The newer the kit, the better for you as the results will be more accurate. Aside from verifying the expiry date, remember to check the package and ensure the seal is not opened. Additionally, the package shouldn’t be worn out or look old. Also, it’s better to purchase a new home pregnancy testing kit rather than using one you’ve stored for long in your cupboard.
Read the Instructions Carefully
Do not proceed to use a home pregnancy testing kit without first going through the instructions. Instructions for use help you to better understand how the kit should be used and avoid mistakes that could compromise the quality of your result. Various brands differ in specifications and the way you use one kit might not be the same as another kit from a different brand. Things you should look out for in the instructions include how long urine should remain on the test stick and the meaning of result symbols. If you don’t go through the instructions, it will be impossible for you to know the correct procedure for carrying out the home pregnancy test. Every test comes with its own set of instructions, always follow the directions given.
Take the Test in the Morning
Studies have proven the best time to take a pregnancy test is in the morning because this is the time urine has the highest concentration of HCG. Medics encourage a pregnancy test is best done immediately after you’ve woken up as opposed to afternoons or in the evening. Consumption of fluids such as water during the day dilutes the urine lowering the chances of getting an accurate reading.
In most cases, women especially those taking a home pregnancy test for the first time tend to have jitters. The problem is if you’re not settled, chances are high you will end up making a mistake. Reading instructions carefully and doing a few practice tests can help first-timers perfect their skill for a better and accurate reading. To boost confidence, women are encouraged to take the test when they’re not anxious and in the most relaxing and comfortable environment. Most home testing pregnancy kits have a hotline number that you can call in case you’re not sure about something.
With the above simple but important tips, you’re guaranteed to get an accurate reading and get to know your true pregnancy status. However, though home testing kits help you to quickly know your pregnancy status, it is wise to confirm your result by doing a second test in a hospital just to check for the consistency of the results.