A pregnancy test detects a specific hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is released by the developing placenta shortly after a woman becomes pregnant. Conception usually takes place within 24 hours of ovulation, whereas implantation takes place six or more days after conception. When the fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining of the womb, the hCG hormone is secreted by the placenta (tissue surrounding the developing baby), which occurs nearly a week after ovulation.
To detect pregnancy, a woman may resort to the use of a home urine pregnancy test or a blood pregnancy test. Both may be conducted about 8 days after implantation. However, do remember that implantation may take anywhere between seven to ten days after ovulation.
Irrespective of the method of pregnancy detection, you should always wait until the day you miss your period for testing. Should a test be conducted before this duration, it is likely that the result may be inaccurate. A week after your missed period is the safest time to get most accurate results.
Detecting with a Home Urine Pregnancy Test
• A home pregnancy test is one of the most commonly used test for the early detection of pregnancy. These kits are easy to operate and are readily available in the market. All you have to do is to place a few drops of urine in the area provided in the device and then wait for the specified time period to know the results.
• Home pregnancy tests normally detect pregnancy somewhere between the 50 to 100 mIU/hCG level, but there are highly sensitive home pregnancy tests that can detect hCG levels at 20 mIU, i.e. eight days after implantation of the fertilized egg.
• To get optimum results, one should conduct this test first thing in the morning as the first urine output of the day contains a concentrated amount of the hCG hormone. If this is not possible, another way is to avoid urination for several hours before using the pregnancy test, as frequent urination can reduce the concentration of the hCG hormone in the urine, and can interrupt early pregnancy detection.
• If you observe a faint line in comparison to the control line, the test can be positive, even though the concentration of hCG hormone in the urine may be low. In some cases, where a faint test color band is present, it is recommended to conduct the test again after one or two days to confirm the result.
• If you follow all instructions carefully and interpret the results correctly, home pregnancy tests are up to 97% accurate.
Detecting Blood Pregnancy Test
The blood test used to detect pregnancy is known as 'Beta HCG'. The test is highly accurate and shows positive pregnancy results 8 to 12 days after conception. It is capable of determining pregnancy with levels as low as 5 to 10 mIU/hCG. This test is highly helpful in detecting a pregnancy at a very early stage, especially for women who are suffering from other health related problems like diabetes or epilepsy, as it will help them in taking necessary decisions regarding their medication and treatment to avoid any future complications.
Though missing a period, morning sickness, etc. have always been considered as some of the earliest possible signs of pregnancy, they may not be completely reliable to detect pregnancy. The tests for earliest detection of pregnancy are reliable, economical, and capable of giving optimum and more accurate results than the aforementioned signs. Always remember that conducting a test too early can give you a negative result but may not mean that you are not pregnant. Hence, allow some time, i.e. one or two days for the hormone to rise to a sufficient level and then conduct the test again.
( Concentrations of the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) hormone are measured in milli-International Units (mIU) or amounts equal to 1/1000th of an IU per milliliter. If a woman is pregnant, the concentration of hCG hormone in her body should be 25 mIU at 10 dpo (days past ovulation), 50 mIU at 12 dpo, and 100 mIU at 15 dpo.)
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.