What is a home pregnancy test kit and how does it work?
A pregnancy home test kit is the easiest tool available in today’s world to calm the inquisitive mind of couples planning for pregnancy. Taking a home pregnancy test gives you results within a few minutes itself. First time expectant moms often wonder as to how to you use a pregnancy home test, but it is very simple as all you have to do is follow the instructions in the kit enclosed. These home pregnancy test kits just need a urine sample, preferably the morning one. This is because the home pregnancy test mechanism is designed in such a way that it detects the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG). HCG is a hormone which is normally absent in urine, but is secreted into the urine throughout the pregnancy starting around 6 days after conception. A home pregnancy test cost in India varies from INR 50-150.
What is the expected home pregnancy test time taken for results?
Generally, a home pregnancy test is done after a missed period, but with the advancement in medicine, there are pregnancy home tests which can be done even before you miss the next period, to give early results. A home pregnancy test can be done after 7-10 days of ovulation, this is the earliest it can be done.
Pregnancy home test can be negative if the test is done too early after conception; hence, for most reliable test results it is advisable to take a home pregnancy test 7 days after missed period. In women undergoing IUI (intrauterine insemination) IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments, it is advisable not to perform home pregnancy test after IUI immediately, and wait at least 14 days after embryo transfer procedure. This is because the chances of false positive results are high because you are given a shot of hCG hormone before the procedure. That means there is no pregnancy but there is a positive home pregnancy test.
Is a home pregnancy test accurate?
Pregnancy home test’s accuracy depends on how well the person follows the instructions while performing the test. Most of these kits claim to be 99% accurate, yet there can be falsely positive or negative test results. Sometimes, the result of a pregnancy home test will be a very faint positive line, in such cases you can wait for 3-4 days and take another test. Again, it may so happen that one pregnancy home test is negative and the 2nd test is negative too, or the home pregnancy test is negative but the doctor’s is positive, or else the home pregnancy test is negative but symptoms of pregnancy are present. In such cases, a blood test for levels of hCG in blood is done to confirm the pregnancy.
What are the different types of home pregnancy tests available in the market?
Two types of home pregnancy test kits are available in the market:
- Pregnancy home test strip (Strip pregnancy test): This is the commonest type of pregnancy test kit available wherein you simply have to hold the strip or a dipstick provided in a stream of urine. On detecting hCG, one end of the strip will change color indicating you are pregnant.
- Cup test kit: A test device, along with a urine collection cup is provided in this type of home pregnancy test kit. You have to collect your urine in the cup as indicated and then dip the test device in it and if the color changes, it indicates you are pregnant.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.