How to test for pregnancy at home and hospital

Bajaj Finserv Health Team, Gynaecologist
November 24, 2020

Pregnancy is quite a special time for many and is one that also involves a number of uncertainties. This is particularly the case in the early stages of conception as not all the early signs of pregnancy are conclusive. For this reason, it is worthwhile for those trying to conceive to know when to check pregnancy and how to check for pregnancy at home.

Taking an early pregnancy test not only helps put the mind at ease, but can also explain a few of the changes one may go through during the process. Without it, some of the bodily reactions to a pregnancy, such as nausea or fatigue, maybe be misconstrued for an illness.
This can be easily avoided by simply knowing what to expect when trying to conceive. Moreover, learning how to test for pregnancy has gotten a lot simpler, as even a home pregnancy test kit can deliver results with a minimal chance of error.

However, there are several ways to test for pregnancy and some are more accurate than others. Read on for a detailed breakdown of pregnancy tests, right from how to check pregnancy via various tests to how they work and how to confirm a pregnancy.

How to detect pregnancy?

To detect pregnancy, testing is important. One of the clearer signs of pregnancy is missing a period during the menstrual cycle. In addition to this, if there are other symptoms or bodily reactions linked to pregnancy, then the next step should be to get tested. There are 2 main types of tests: blood tests and urine tests. Both tests can be undertaken at a doctor’s office, whereas there are certain urine tests can be performed at home. The benefit of taking a urine pregnancy test at home is that it is private, convenient, and fairly easy.

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When to take a pregnancy test?

Despite how easy it is to test for a pregnancy at home, for accurate results, it is also important to know when to do so. Here are some clear indicators that it may be time to use a pregnancy test.

  1. Missed period
  2. Sore breasts
  3. Cramps
  4. Nausea
  5. Food aversions
  6. Frequent urination
  7. Exhaustion

In the early stages, many of these may occur exclusively but as time progresses, you may start experiencing them simultaneously and more severely. Additionally, you can also get tested before missing a period, but only after waiting for about 2 weeks from the time of sexual intercourse. This gives the body enough time to develop higher, more detectable levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is only present during pregnancy.

How does a pregnancy test work?

During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone known as HCG. This hormone is produced when a fertilised egg attaches to the uterus lining. HCG levels in the body peak at around 8 to 11 weeks, but can be noticed by tests at around 14 days from conception. Less than 5 mIU/ml (milli-international units per millilitre) will return a negative HCG result, whereas 25 mIU/ml or higher is positive for a pregnancy. In short, pregnancy tests measure HCG amounts and deliver result accordingly.

How to use a pregnancy kit?

An important part of learning how to check pregnancy at home is to note that there are more than a few ways to go about it. While it is a urine test, not all testing tools are the same and may have special addons, like an eyedropper, to simplify the process. However, regardless of the test, here’s how you can go about it.

  • Collect the urine in a cup or container and carefully dip the pregnancy test into it
  • Place the testing stick directly into the stream of urine, ensuring you catch the urine on the earmarked testing area
  • Use an eyedropper to drop collected urine onto the testing stick

How to confirm pregnancy?

While a home urine pregnancy test post a missed period can be relied upon for accurate results most of the time, there are instances in which it can return a false-negative. This is when it returns a negative result even though you are pregnant. Factors like diluted urine or early testing can lead to false-negatives but such situations can be avoided with a blood test. These are costlier, take longer to process, measure both qualitative and quantitative HCG in blood and offer an accurate result.

When trying to conceive, testing is a major part of the process and getting the expected result early can offer quite a lot of relief. Not only does this help alleviate some of the stress experienced, but it can also help expectant mothers get started on antenatal or prenatal care sooner rather than later. This is the natural next step toward a healthy pregnancy and is an essential part of the process. As a matter of fact, all forms of medical assistance during the entire process of pregnancy is key, even for a pregnancy test, as it provides you with a conclusive result. For the best experience, having a skilled medical expert guiding you is key and with the Bajaj Finserv Health app, finding such a specialist is extremely easy.

Thanks to its doctor search feature, you can find doctors in your vicinity with ease and also book appointments online without the need for a physical visit. What’s more, you can virtually consult your specialist over video for remote treatment, further simplifying access to healthcare. Another notable feature of the Bajaj Finserv Health app is the ‘Health Vault’ that allows you to store your medical history and test results digitally, making it easy to share it with your doctor whenever needed. To get started, simply download the app for free via Google Play or the Apple App Store.