When you are tying to conceive and you miss your periods, the first thing you do before going to a doctor is take the pregnancy test at home. Taking pregnancy test at home is becoming common because of its accuracy and hassle free process.
Though there is no denial that taking the pregnancy test is real easy but reading the results might be confusing for many. If you are nodding your head, this article is for you.
In this article we tell you the right way to read a pregnancy test and other things to keep in mind.
Pregnancy test strip is one of the most popular and affordable pregnancy tests out there. It is a urine pregnancy test with a very high accuracy rate. During pregnancy, the body starts producing a hormone by the name of human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG from the very first day. The test strips react to the presence of this hormone in the urine and tell you whether you are pregnant or not.
How to use pregnancy test strip
Most (if not all) pregnancy test strips look and work the same, so you can use this instruction for your home pregnancy test no matter where you are from. Here is how to do pregnancy test at home:
- Pee in a clean and dry container/cup. It is best if you do it in the morning, but you can do it any time you want.
- Remove plastic wrap from the test strip. Make sure you hold it at the coloured end, stay away from the test zone (the middle) and the end that has arrows on it. Otherwise, the results might not be accurate.
- Hold the strip vertically and dip the side with the arrows into your container. Do not let the strip go too deep and past the MAX line.
- When you see that the sample has moved to the test window (it should be about 5 seconds), place the strip horizontally on a dry, clean surface that does not absorb liquids. The side that has markings should be facing up.
- Wait for at least ten minutes to see the result. However, do not take too long, as the test results might become invalid after half an hour.
When you see a coloured solution moving around the test strip, do not panic. It is supposed to happen. Once the time has passed, you should be able to see your results more or less clearly. Continue reading to find out how to interpret the pregnancy test strip results.
How to read the result of pregnancy test strips
Now that the hardest part is over, it is time to figure out how to understand the test results. There are three options you can end up with:
- Negative result. If your test strip only has one line (control line), it means that you are not pregnant. It signifies that there is no hCG in your body. If you have suspicions that you might be pregnant despite the results, or if you period is unusually late, try to repeat the test in a week. If you still get a negative result, it means that your being pregnant at that moment is not very likely. But if the period still does not come, consult your doctor.
- Positive result. If your test strip has two coloured lines (both control and results lines), it means that you are pregnant. Two lines signify the presence of hCG in your body, so you should contact your doctor for some pointers on what to do next.
- Invalid result. If the strip has no lines at all, or it only has the results line, it means that something has gone wrong. In this case, you should dip the test strip into the container once again and repeat the process we have talked about above. If it still does not work, it means that the test is not valid. You should try again the next day, but with a different strip. Pregnancy test strips are always single-use.
The colour/shade of the lines does not matter. As long as they are visible, they should give you the information on your pregnancy status. This means that even the lightest touch of colour in the place where result line should be means that you are pregnant. However, if you are not sure about any of these two lines, it is best to double-check and retry the test in a few days.
Be aware of the false positive results. They can be caused by a whole range of things. For instance, if you have suffered from a miscarriage or have previously given birth in the past eight weeks, the test might show a positive result, as your body would still have the hCG hormone. False positive can also be caused by certain medicine that is combined with hCG (for example, Profasi, APL, Pergonal, Pregnyl and others).
If you suffer from a rare condition, for instance, Islet cell tumours, trophoblastic disease, or from carcinomas, you might get a false positive result. Things that do not have any effect on the test results are birth control pills, antibiotics, painkillers or alcohol.
If you have done everything correctly, the pregnancy test strips accuracy should be 99%. Remember that the test has a ‘best before’ date, so do not use an expired pregnancy test strip if you want accurate results. Nevertheless, you should also try other methods of determining pregnancy, just to make sure.
And now you know how to use pregnancy test strips at home. They are very convenient and easy to use. As long as you do everything right, you should be able to get very accurate results on whether you are pregnant or not. So go ahead and apply the acquired knowledge on practice. May you get the result you are looking for.