When a couple is trying to get pregnant or someone is concerned about an unplanned pregnancy, a pregnancy test acts as an important tool. Taking a pregnancy test can be very stressful for many women. It results in many emotions like excitement and fear. The knowledge of being pregnant helps you to take the right decision.
What is a pregnancy test and how does it work ?
Home pregnancy tests are generally simple urine tests that detect if a woman is pregnant or not. These tests detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It gets released when a fertilised egg gets attached to the lining of uterus. It is only found in the body if a woman is pregnant.
The result is displayed as either:
- Positive – Pregnant or
- Negative – Not Pregnant
The common test uses a detector for hCG that shows indication based on the presence of lines or colours to display the state of the pregnancy.
Different Types of Pregnancy Tests
Basically there are two types of pregnancy tests. They are as follows:
Blood Test – This tests the blood for the pregnancy hormone known as hCG. You will need to see the doctor to get a blood test done. Blood tests can pick up hCG at an earlier time when compared to urine tests. Blood tests can tell after 6-8 days of ovulation. It can measure even the tiniest amounts of hCG, hence, it is very accurate.
There are two types of blood tests:
This detects the amount of hCG present in blood and also tells the age of the foetus. This test is used when parent needs an exact idea of when the egg was fertilised.
Qualitative – This only gives a yes or no solution. It indicates the presence of hCG only but it is more sensitive when compared to HPTs.
As described earlier, Pregnancy Tests taken at home known as Home Pregnancy Tests (HPT) which are easily available at drugstores and chemist shops can be used for identification purposes. They cost less than a blood test. They might take some time to detect . Their accuracy is also questionable in some situations. But their ready availability, discreteness and cost have made them the most popular choice.
There are two types of Urine Tests:
Strip Pregnancy Test:
You can hold the strip or the dripstick under the stream of urine. On detection of hCG, the test will change colour according to the design. This generally takes 4-7 minutes to display the results.
Cup Pregnancy Test:
You need to collect a urine sample in the cup or beaker provided and then the test device needs to be dipped into the cup. The test will display the result based on the design and indications.
When to take pregnancy test ?
You can essentially take a pregnancy test as soon as your period is late. Some tests like the blood test can work even a few days before the missed period because they are highly sensitive to hCG.
For home pregnancy tests, you can read the indications on the label to know when that test will become effective. On an average, they work when it is already a week past your expected period.
Different pregnancy tests
Here is a list of the common pregnancy test available in India:
Prega News Pregnancy Kit:
This is one of the most popular kits in market. It claims to give authentic and reliable results in 5 minutes. The test can be done as early as on the first day of the missed period. A single strip can cost between 60-80 rupees from the local chemist shop.
Single Band implies no pregnancy. Double Bands implies that the candidate is pregnant. No band implies that hCG level is too low for the test and is ideally repeated after 4 -5 days.
Velocit Pregnancy Kit:
This one comes from Dr. Reddy’s labs and it is a simple and one-step pregnancy kit. Fresh morning urine needs to be collected in a clean container. The dropper can be used to take 2-3 drops of urine and after 3-4 minutes results can be noted. The test can be done on the first day of the missed period. The test costs between 65 to 98 rupees.
Single Band implies no pregnancy. Double Bands implies that the candidate is pregnant. No band implies uncertainty and the test should be taken again.
Clear View Pregnancy Test Kit:
According to the manufacturer, it is 99% accurate. It identifies pregnancy one day after the expected date and takes less than 3 minutes to do so. It costs between 150-160 rupees per test kit.
It shows easy to read + and – signs as results.
I-Can Pregnancy Test Kit:
This test needs to be performed with the first urine of the day. It can be performed any day after the 6th day after expected conception. It costs Rs 50 per strip.
A dark coloured pink or purple band indicates positive result and no bands indicate negative results.
Pregcolor Test Card:
Urine sample needs to be collected in any clean container and with the help of a dropper, urine can be introduced into the card window. It costs around Rs. 70. It takes about 3 minutes to display the results.
Two lines indicate positive results and one line indicates negative results.
We hope the above list has provided you with enough information to choose the right pregnancy test. Read about 10 symptoms of early pregnancy. If you need indication on how to take the test at home you can read these instructions.
The first step towards motherhood can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. In all cases, early knowledge is best for parents to take the correct decisions about their child’s life. If any of the above suggested methods leave you in confusion, consult with your local gynaecologist for further information.