Body Health

When is the right time for a pregnancy test

HOW EARLY CAN YOU TAKE A PREGNANCY TEST - For mothers who are trying to get pregnant, a negative test pack result is certainly not as expected. However, don't be fooled, pregnancy tests can give false negatives or inaccurate results, especially if not done properly. For that, let's learn together when is the right time for a pregnancy test with the test pack so that the results can be accurate.

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What is a pregnancy test?

A pregnancy test kit in the form of a test pack (tespek) is designed to show the presence or absence of the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) in the urine. This hormone is usually produced by the body immediately after the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall, and its levels can double every 2-3 days.

To confirm pregnancy, the mother can do the test yourself at home or check with a gynecologist. If you are lazy to go to the doctor, then just buy a pregnancy test pack that is widely sold in pharmacies. However, make no mistake when using it because it can affect the accuracy of the test results.

On the other hand, if seeing a doctor is the mother's decision, then a blood test should usually be taken. Compared to urine tests, blood test results are usually more accurate. For the differences between these two pregnancy tests, we will discuss at the end of the review later.

When can a pregnancy test show an accurate result?

Actually, if the body has already produced hCG before the day of menstruation arrives, then it is okay if the pregnancy test is done a few days before menstruation. But how can we know whether hCG has been produced or not?!

Because it is difficult to know, some people think that a pregnancy test with a test pack should be done when menstruation is late or really does not come. Taking a pregnancy test before your period is late can make the results less accurate.

Even if the test result remains positive, it is not certain that it will develop into a pregnancy because spontaneous miscarriage can occur. For this reason, wait until the mother misses her menstrual schedule, then do the test.

Are pregnancy tests with test packs accurate?

The accuracy of the pregnancy test with the test pack is arguably very high, which is 99%. The condition is that the test is carried out as early as the first day of late menstruation or after that. But if you want even more accurate results, then do the test in the morning because at that time the concentration of urine is the most concentrated.

The right time for a test is when your menstrual period arrives and you don't bleed, because the pregnancy hormone being tested is only detected 12 days after conception.

In addition to time, the expiration date of the test pack is also a determining factor for the accuracy of the test pack. Because test packs that have passed their expiration date tend to be less accurate, always choose packages that have a new production date.

To be more concise, here are some factors that determine the accuracy of a test pack:

  • Have you followed the instructions on the package correctly?!
  • When is the time for the test – there's no need to rush, because it's never too late to take a pregnancy test. The results remain accurate even days after conception.
  • When is ovulation and how long does it take for the embryo to implant itself.

Some pregnant women will experience spots or blood spots, a sign of pregnancy, don't be fooled by menstrual blood, read: Characteristics of Pregnancy Spots and the Difference with Menstrual Blood

Take a pregnancy test by paying attention to the signs of pregnancy
Instead of worrying and wondering if you are really pregnant or not, it's better to just observe the presence or absence of other pregnancy symptoms before taking the test. Some of the early symptoms of pregnancy in question include:

  • Implantation bleeding – the appearance of light spots or blood spots due to the embryo implanting itself into the uterus.
  • Cramps or a pulling sensation in the abdominal area.
  • Sensitive breasts – breasts may feel uncomfortable or painful to the touch or when wearing a bra.
  • Feeling tired for no apparent reason.
  • Sensitivity to certain scents.
  • Changes in eating patterns such as wanting to try foods that you have never tried/don't like, or vice versa so you don't like your favorite foods
  • The sense of taste (tongue) feels strange
  • Vaginal discharge with pain
  • Constipation

You may experience some of the symptoms above 7-10 days after ovulation. If you're not sure when it's time to ovulate, but you're still experiencing some or all of these symptoms, then take a pregnancy test right away.

Get to know the type of pregnancy test

Before taking a pregnancy test, it's a good idea to first identify several types of tests:

ice urine with tespek

This pregnancy check can be done at home and the mother is free to choose the time of the test. Compared to other tests, you could say that this urine test is the most comfortable and personal. If the mother is active in sexual relations, there is nothing wrong with doing a urine test a week after a missed period.

Usually the urine test / test pack is equipped with instructions that must be followed so that the results are accurate. When finished, it's just a matter of reading the results of the test, there's nothing wrong with discussing the results with the doctor.

How long does it take for this test to show results?

The urine test doesn't take long, just 5-10 minutes and you can get the results. Any lines that appear after 10 minutes can be wrong, so ignore that. Vice versa, reading test results too quickly (less than 5 minutes) can also give inaccurate results.

How does the test result look if it is positive for pregnancy?

If the result is positive, then you will see the 2nd line next to the first line. This second line usually begins to appear after the urine sample soaks the strip. Not all test packs are created in the same form. There is also a test pack that has 2 windows, and if the results are positive, then a line will appear in both windows. Other types of test packs show a (+) sign to indicate a positive result.

In some cases, it could be that the mother is not pregnant but the test results are still positive. This kind of test result is commonly referred to as a false positive pregnancy test, and may occur due to several factors such as:

  • Urine contains blood or protein.
  • Are undergoing treatment with anticonvulsants, tranquilizers, or hypnotics
  • There is hCG released from the pituitary gland when levels of LH (luteinizing hormone) are high
  • The test was done too early.
  • The level of hCG increases because you are entering the perimenopause stage.
  • Undergoing fertility treatment – ​​this false positive result can occur if a pregnancy test is taken within 10 days of the last hCG treatment.

How does a negative pregnancy test result look?

If the test result is negative, the test pack window will only show the first line, there is no additional 2nd line.

To be sure again, the mother can do a retest a week later. In certain cases, the mother may still be pregnant even though the test pack results are negative. Just like before, there are several things that can cause false negative results, namely:

  • The test pack has expired.
  • Mother did not follow the instructions given correctly.
  • The urine sample is allowed to stand too long, eg 30 minutes or more.
  • The test is too early so that hCG levels fail to detect.
  • Urine sample is too diluted from drinking too much before the test.
  • Effects of antihistamine and diuretic treatment.

What if the 2nd line looks blurry?

Often the test results show only a faint line. This indicates that the level of hCG in the urine is still low. In other words, the lines may look clearer as the pregnancy advances when there is more hCG produced by the body.

Pregnancy Test with Blood Test

Unlike a urine test, you have to go to a hospital or clinic if you want to use a blood test to check for pregnancy. For mothers who can't wait until their period is late, then a blood test can be an option because even though it is done early (eg 6-8 days after ovulation), the results are still accurate. However, mothers have to wait longer to find out whether they are positive or not. Blood tests are divided into 2 types, namely:

Qualitative hCG blood test

The purpose of this test is to examine a blood sample and look for traces of hCG. Doctors usually only recommend this test 10 days after a missed period. However, this qualitative hCG blood test can still detect the hormone levels faster than the time period mentioned above.

Quantitative hCG (beta-hCG) blood test

This test measures the exact level of hCG in the blood. The advantage is that it can detect even low levels of hCG. In addition, this test also measures concentration and the presence or absence of possible pregnancy complications. And when combined with other tests, beta-hCG can inform the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, as well as monitor the body's system after a miscarriage, when hCG levels drop dramatically.

It is clear that each type of pregnancy test just mentioned has its own advantages and disadvantages. If the urine test is more private and fast, unfortunately the results are sometimes also less accurate. While the blood test is indeed more accurate, you will have to wait longer to know the results. So, do you think you still want to use the test pack, or just switch to a blood test?! 

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