Pregnancy Test

Find the right home pregnancy test

If you think that you might be expecting, consider taking a home pregnancy test before you go through the effort and expense of arranging a doctor's visit. A home pregnancy test can be quite accurate if used correctly and at the right time – learn about how a variety of pregnancy tests work and how soon they can detect a pregnancy.

Kinds of Home Pregnancy Tests

Many women use a home pregnancy test before they see their doctor if they notice any signs of pregnancy, as most of these tests are very accurate, easy to use and affordable. Several different brands of test kits are available from a drug store without a prescription, and all of these home pregnancy tests are designed to detect HCG, or the pregnancy hormone. Production of this hormone begins about two weeks after conception, and the amount will double every 2 to 3 days during the first weeks of pregnancy.

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While a blood test administered by a doctor will be able to determine the quantity of the HCG hormone in your body (and thus the length of time you have been pregnant), a home test kit can often determine whether or not the pregnancy hormone is present through a quick urine test. Most home pregnancy tests cannot detect the HCG hormone until a few days after a missed period, but there are some brands like the First Response pregnancy test that claim to detect HCG six days before your expected period. For a truly accurate early pregnancy test, visit your doctor to have your blood tested; a much smaller amount of the HCG hormone can be detected in blood than in urine.

Different brands of pregnancy tests demand different testing techniques – some provide a stick to hold in the stream of urine, while others require the urine to be collected in a cup before the stick can be immersed. Regardless of how the test indicates a positive result, even a faint appearance of that symbol will mean, except in the rare case of a false positive, that the HCG hormone is present and you are pregnant. The EPT pregnancy test, or Error Proof Test, is a particularly trusted brand – although there is no such thing as a truly error-proof pregnancy test, EPT has a long-standing reputation of providing results that are quick, accurate and easy to read.

Online Pregnancy Test

An online pregnancy test typically uses a pregnancy calendar and a symptom checklist to determine the likelihood of pregnancy. You will be asked to enter your age, how long it's been since the beginning of your last period and when you had intercourse. This is essentially the same ovulation calendar that is used for the method of natural birth control known as fertility awareness, which tracks your date of ovulation based on the length of your cycle. This online mathematical calculation is most often a free pregnancy test, but it is not intended to be a replacement for a blood or urine test.