Motherhood is a wonderful phase for a woman and most women would want to conceive at least once in their lifetime. Once pregnant, the journey from thereon is pretty manageable with some precautions taken to deliver a healthy baby.
On the other hand, the days before confirming the news is quite stressful, probably because you never know what is in store. You can calm your nerves when you know the correct time to take the pregnancy test with a kit.
Pregnancy tests are of two types - blood test and urine test. The test that is done at home using a kit is the urine test and it is the most convenient one of the two. This article is completely about the urine test. Before discussing the apt time to test, it is vital to know some details of how the test works and other pertinent facts. Let's get started.
Some Terms To Be Known
Ovulation - The release of eggs from the ovaries of a woman. You might never know when this actually happens exactly because it can occur anytime between 12 to 16 days before the next period is due. But, if you keep a good account of the period cycle, you will know when this might take place.
Conception - When the sperm penetrates the egg, the conception has taken place and the egg is fertilized.
Implantation - The fertilized egg travels to the uterus to attach itself to the lining of the uterine wall. This usually happens 6 to 12 days after ovulation.
How Does A Pregnancy Kit Function?
It is known that the kit detects pregnancy in urine. Now, the urine has to contain something special for the detection and it is the hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), generally referred to as the 'pregnancy hormone'. It is the presence of hCG in the urine that confirms pregnancy.
hCG is lower than 5 mIU/ml in a normal woman and it literally doubles every 48-72 hours when pregnant. This is what the pregnancy kit looks for - high levels of hCG hormone. The hCG is produced only after implantation.
Types Of Kits
There are two types of kits basically - one set which detects pregnancy before a missed period and the other one after a missed period. To be more accurate with the result, it is wiser to choose the kit of the second type. This is because the presence of the needed hCG hormone is assured after a missed period, i.e, after implantation, if pregnant and hence the test result is reliable.
So, the first point to note is that it is advisable to test after a missed period even though it is possible to take up a test 7 to 10 days after ovulation.
When Should I Test After A Missed Period?
You can very well test on the first day of the missed period but the result need not be accurate. If it turns out positive, it means that you ovulated two weeks prior to that. To get more accuracy, it is suggested to wait from 7 to 10 days after a missed period. Even this might not work out for some women who are hoping for a positive result. In that case, do not get worried and wait for a couple of days more to get the second test done.
Why Does It Test Negative Even When I Do It In The Suggested Time Frame?
The reason must be because you do not have the necessary level of hCG for the kit to detect. There are kits that detect hCG at various levels like 20 mIU/ml, 50 mIU/ml, and so on. This is why you should wait for some more days for the hCG to shoot up.
Can Pregnancy Test Kit Results Go Wrong?
Around 95%-99% of pregnancy test kit results are correct, provided the instructions are followed correctly. However, there are instances when the result can be the opposite.
Instances Of False Positives
Consumption of medicines containing hCG
Protein or blood in urine
Ovarian cysts or an ectopic pregnancy
Instances Of False Negatives
Diluted urine (concentrated one must be used for test - should be done immediately after waking up)
Wrong usage of the test kit
Test has passed the expiry date
Taking the test much earlier
Are You Confused Yet About When To Take It Up?
Forget about ovulation, implantation and all that stuff. Just do the home pregnancy test three weeks after having unprotected sex or a missed period. This is suggested by doctors as the best time to do the test as the possibility of a wrong result is very minimal.
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