Having My Baby - Pregnancy Tests
So you may have some symptoms of being pregnant, but you want to be absolutely sure whether or not you should begin preparing for a newborn. Here’s a list of three of the most common and accurate pregnancy tests available to help get you more informed.
1.) Home Pregnancy Tests – You can purchase these tests at local drugstores and many supermarkets now carry them. This test is conducted by determining the amount of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, (hCG), which is a female hormone, in your urine. The hCG hormone in your urine can be detected as early as 10 days after conception. Some women prefer the home pregnancy test because it is much more private, much more inexpensive than a blood test, and very accurate if used properly.
2.) Qualitative Blood Serum Test – This test is as reliable as the home pregnancy test. Also known as the hCG blood test, the qualitative blood serum test determines whether or not the hormone hCG is present or no; and ultimately whether a woman is pregnant or not.
3.) Quantitative Blood Serum Test – This type of test is administered by your doctor as well and is commonly known as the beta hCG test. It can detect the smallest amount of the hCG hormone which makes it extremely accurate. What happens throughout the first 4 weeks of pregnancy is a woman’s hCG hormone level will double approximately every 2 days. This test is also very reliable and helpful because not only does it confirm a pregnancy, but it can determine if a pregnancy is progressing properly or not.
Although all three of these pregnancy tests are extremely accurate, with a 98 to 99 percent accuracy rate, that leaves room for mistakes and false results. It is possible that the result of the test is incorrect. False negatives occur when the pregnancy test displays negative results, but you are actually pregnant. This normally occurs because the test was taken too early. Your body has not had enough time to respond to the pregnancy and the hCG hormone is not present in your blood to determine that you are actually pregnant. You can also have a false positive, meaning that the pregnancy test you took displayed positive results, but you are not actually pregnant. This occurs if you are taking medication that contains the hCG hormone and it is present in your system, but not because of pregnancy.
The only way to accurately determine if you are pregnant is to see your doctor. However, the timing of when to see him/her is crucial! All doctors can offer you before the 6-7 week mark is a blood test because you are not far along enough in your pregnancy for anything to show up in an ultrasound. It is recommended to see your doctor around the 7 to 8 week mark to be able to accurately depict whether or not you are pregnant and provide you with more information regarding your eventual newborn.
If you and your doctor come to the conclusion that you are indeed pregnant, you will undergo what is commonly known as prenatal care. This is the health care that you will receive before and during pregnancy. One of the most important things you must do if you think there is a slight chance you may be pregnant, is visit your doctor! You need to start caring for your baby as soon as possible and receive routine checkups. The goal of prenatal care is to be able to discover any potentially harmful problems as well as, to incorporate recommended exercise, vitamins, and nutrition tips into your life to make you and your baby as healthy as possible. Prenatal care has also been known to reduce miscarriages and maternal deaths; as well as decrease low birth weight, birth defects, and any other preventable disabilities.