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Everything you need to know about pregnancy tests

pregnancy test

There are many different types of pregnancy tests out there and roughly 70% of women between the ages of 25 and 45 have needed one at some point in their lives. While some of the early symptoms of pregnancy can be vague; like nausea, a lack menstruation, increased appetite, fatigue and chest tenderness, there are many test available that can confirm a pregnancy.

How does the test work?

When an embryo becomes implanted into the wall of the uterus, a placenta can begin to form. The placenta then begins to produce a hormone known as HCG (human chorionic gonadotropic hormone). This hormone helps with the secretion of progesterone which enriches the uterus with a thick lining of blood vessels so that the uterus can sustain a growing fetus. HCG gets circulated in the blood and is then excreted in urine, making it detectable to pregnancy tests. These tests can determine if you are pregnant by detecting the presence of HCG. Production of this hormone usually begins about 6 to 7 days after conception. Since the hormone concentration doubles every 2 to 3 days, some tests are able to infer how far along you are based on the quantity of HCG present in your urine.

When to use a pregnancy test?

It is best to use a home-pregnancy-test on the expected day of menstruation. If the test is done too early, you increase the chances of getting a false negative result. These tests are more accurate 3-4 weeks after unprotected sex and should be conducted within 2 weeks of the expected date of menstruation. It is recommended to conduct this home-test in the morning when the HCG levels are most detectable.

 However, there are other ways to measure HCG levels to diagnose pregnancy. A blood test is capable of detecting HCG 8-10 days after fertilization occurs, making it much more accurate than the urine test.

If your home-test comes back positive it is recommended to seek an appointment a healthcare professional who can order a blood test for you to confirm the pregnancy. (You can book this appointment with Tap Medical <3)

What to do with a positive result?

If the test is positive, it is important that you make an appointment with a doctor. Once the appointment has been made, the doctor will be able to confirm the pregnancy diagnosis or prescribe a blood test and estimate the date of delivery. He will examine you and explain the medical follow-up procedures for the coming months. An early consultation is ideal so that you can adapt your lifestyle in a timely manner and take the necessary measures to ensure a successful pregnancy.

If you do not have a doctor or gynaecologist, you can use Tap to search for one within the clinics in our network. In addition, remember that your pharmacist can provide you with information regarding the choice and use of the various tests on the market.

PS: Check out our healthy living articles HERE!