Years ago, it took months for a woman to know if she was expecting a baby or not. Without modern medical breakthroughs, women had to wait a certain period of time before being seen by a doctor. Even then, a urinalysis or blood test would have to be performed, which meant waiting even longer for the results to be revealed. Well, times have changed and in fact, tests now being used are not only able to detect a pregnancy extremely early but the accuracy rate is astonishing.
Until a few years ago, in-home pregnancy tests were decent and capable of providing results not too long after conception. However, the primary problem was that many of these tests produced inaccurate results. As imagined, this led to women being shocked to learn they were in fact pregnant after believing otherwise or learning no pregnancy existed when they believed a baby would be born. Obviously, this created problems for the manufacturers of these tests.
Today, in-home pregnancy tests are far more sophisticated and because of this, they can detect a pregnancy earlier than ever before and again, with incredible accuracy. Even so, it is important to note that every woman’s body is unique. Therefore, the level of hCG, which is a pregnancy hormone, could fluctuate. In addition, the time it takes for a fertilized egg to become implanted in the uterus would also vary depending on how fast it travels.
Overview of Pregnancy Tests
Although there are several factors to consider, it is still possible to detect a pregnancy early on. As far as the exact amount of time it takes for a pregnancy to be confirmed is discussed below but first, we wanted to provide some basic information regarding the way these tests work. With this, it would be easier to understand the early detection process.
Tests for in-home use, as well as those used in doctor’s offices, are designed to measure the amount of hCG, which again is a pregnancy hormone. As expected, once a pregnancy progresses, the amount of this hormone begins to increase. For instance, approximately 10 days after a woman’s ovulation, the level would be around 25 mIU but just two days later, it doubles to 50 mIU. Then just 14 days after ovulation, hCG levels would reach about 100.
Now, the reason that some in-home tests have the ability to detect a pregnancy earlier than others has to do with the sensitivity level to this hormone. As an example, there are some tests developed to confirm pregnancy once hCG levels reach 100 mIU but others capable of detecting at just 50. Therefore, a woman who uses the more sensitive test would learn about the pregnancy earlier than if the less sensitive test were used.
Today, there are even in-home tests capable of detecting hCG levels at just 20 mIU. This means that only six or seven days after ovulation, a pregnancy could be detected. Amazingly, it was only a few years ago that this was thought impossible. Keep in mind that there are some women who also develop symptoms of pregnancy almost immediately. Because of having tender breasts, fatigue, and other signs, there are women who have that gut feeling of being pregnant well before taking any test.
Getting Accurate Results
Getting an accurate reading no matter the type of pregnancy test used is critical. As mentioned earlier, false results can cause tremendous problems either way. To get the most accurate results possible, an individual would need to purchase a test from a reputable company but also check the expiration date. Obviously, the goal is to purchase the freshest test available.
In addition, urine first thing in the morning should be used. At this time of day, urine is the most concentrated, which means levels of hCG would also be concentrated. There are some tests that state urine from other times of the day could be used for testing but experts still recommend first morning urine instead.
Another thing is that the instructions of the test need to be followed exact. Unfortunately, some women believe a simple modification or misstep does not matter when in actuality, it could be the difference between a real or false reading. Because every test is slightly different, all the directions should be read prior to even handling the test supplies. Then, if the instructions say to wait 10 minutes before reading the results, the person should wait the full 10 minutes since just one minute difference could produce an inaccurate reading.