WE HAVE WAITED SO LONG, HOW MUCH LONGER?
After the planning of getting pregnant is done then all that is left is the wait to see if it worked, are you pregnant or not? Getting pregnant for the first time is always exciting. If you have had a hard time conceiving or been waiting for the “right time” to start your family there has already been a lot of waiting. The wait to find out can be stressful. That is why many expectant mothers want to know about their pregnancy as early as possible. However, the question arises as to how early can you find out and what is the best test to use?
There are two types of tests:
- Blood test – It requires you to go to the doctor and get a blood test done to confirm pregnancy.
- Urine test for pregnancy – It is also known as UPT (urine pregnancy test). UPT kits are available at most of the stores. This is the most convenient method that can be done at home also and you can get result in just 5 minutes.
With both of these tests, also other factors determine how early they can be done and have correct results:
- Time of ovulation
- Sensitivity of the test
- Time of the test if it is a urine or UPT
- Amount of hormone you are producing
THIS IS TOO CONFUSING
All this can be a little confusing to the first time parent anxiously awaiting news. All you want to know is “Yes” or “No.” You have to understand a little about how the body works. When you conceive, your body naturally starts making a different type of hormone that is called hCG. This is what the tests detect in order to tell you ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The level, or amount, of this hormone in your body increases as the pregnancy goes along, so the longer you wait, the better, more accurate results you will get.
The time of month that you ovulate will also help you figure out when the best time to take the test is. If you cycle monthly then this will be easier for you to know when you are late. However, if your cycle is irregular then you may have to get a kit to determine what your cycle is and when you are ovulating. All of that aside, the earliest that either test can determine correctly is 3-4 days after you are late. However, your body may produce the hCG hormone as soon as 9 days after you ovulate. Once you are sure that you are late, you have to decide which test to use.
BLOOD test vs. UPT – WHICH IS THE BEST?
Many parents decide to first use a urine test (UPT) for one main reason i.e. convenience. It is easier and less expensive to buy a test and take it at home. There are some specific instructions to this type of test and you should be sure to completely read all of them. Inside the kit, it will be explained that at which time of day your urine is the strongest, usually in the morning, and how sensitive it is. The sensitivity will tell you how soon after ovulation you can use the kit for a reliable result. The UPT kit normally comes in packages of two; this is so that if you get a negative result and believe that it may be wrong then you can test again in few days. It is recommended that you use ‘Name Brand’ tests. Many will list that they are the “same as____brand”. However, with a decision as important as this; you should use a brand that is “tried and true.” Do not buy the tests that “Guarantee earliest results”. The FCC requirements on home pregnancy tests are not set in stone and there is leeway for errors. None of these tests are 100% right, so follow up with a blood test at your doctor is the best plan. Other tests and prenatal care will also be required to ensure the health of both mother and baby.
The blood test is more accurate than the home pregnancy test because it measures the hormone present in your blood. The doctor takes the mother’s blood and tests it for the amount of hCG present in it. The blood test is more sensitive and the hormone is not diluted as it may be in the urine test. Most doctors will ask you while making the appointment how many days late, you are so they can try to be sure that there is enough hormone in your body to give accurate results. One of the reasons that many expectant parents do not use the blood test before a home pregnancy urine test is that the doctor is the first to know the result. In addition, many women do not like needles or shots.
Another reason this is not the first choice in pregnancy tests in the expense of the doctors visit. If it turns out that, you are not pregnant, you still have to pay for the office visit and many insurance companies no longer pay the total cost of office visits. Many expectant moms get embarrassed about going in for a pregnancy test and having it is negative.
In conclusion, the type of test you use is up to you; however there are always risks involved with both. You may have false positive UPT test that will tell you that you are pregnant when you are not. On the other hand, false negative, test that will tell you that you are not pregnant when you are. However, the false negative result happens in both blood and urine tests. So follow your inner feelings and if you think you are pregnant, do the tests, even if you have to repeat them or follow up with a pelvic examine. It is safer and better for the mother and baby to be sure, and get prenatal care right away.
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