How to Read Pregnancy Test Accurately

So, you have finally decided to know whether there is a bun in the oven by taking the pregnancy test. This can be a nerve-racking moment for you, and you might make a few mistakes here and there due to tension, which may affect the outcome of the test. A home pregnancy check is said to be the most accurate, although not as compared to the blood test. 

But the advantage is, you have an opportunity to do it in the comfort of your home. This should at least relieve some tension. These tests are considered more accurate because they are sensitive to the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, which is a pregnancy indicating hormone. 

When fertilization takes place, and the zygote is implanted in the uterine wall, the formation of the placenta begins. The formed placenta produces this hormone, which flows into your blood and is released in the urine. This is why urine is used for testing pregnancy. Pregnancy test kits pick the presence of this hormone in your urine. Therefore, the further you are with your pregnancy, the more levels of the HCG hormone will be released into your urine. 

This article focuses on how to read the pregnancy tests right from instructions to the results. This is because many women may make a few mistakes, which leads to a false pregnancy alarm or even ruling out pregnancy when they are pregnant. For this reason, I have come up with detailed guidelines to help you read your pregnancy test results accurately.

A Quick View of the Different Types of Pregnancy Test Results

Pregnancy test kits have evolved. There are advanced ones, although the traditional ones still exist. They all test the HCG hormone in the urine and, therefore, they perform almost the same functions. Below is a quick review of the various test results. 

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Positive Pregnancy Test – Control and Test Lines

Traditional pregnancy test strips have one or two windows on them. Both of them have the control line, which indicates that the strip is working and the test line, which will show the result. In case the test is positive, double lines will appear in a single window either faintly or more conspicuously to indicate that you are pregnant. 

In a double window strip, the double lines will appear together with a plus sign to show that you are pregnant. Some digital strips will even indicate with a yes. A positive test, therefore, means that the urine has the HCG hormone, and thus it is okay to assume you are pregnant. Consult the doctor further on how to start your prenatal care.

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Negative Pregnancy Test – Sensing HCG in Urine

A negative test implies that HCG has not been noticed in your urine and that you are not expectant. A traditional one window strip will indicate this with one line, which is the test line. For a double window, the strip will show a single line and a minus sign to indicate that the test is negative. On a more advanced strip, it will tell you “no” to show that you are not expectant. If another week elapses without receiving your periods, you should take another test. If it is still negative, then you aren’t pregnant. 

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Line Test 

Line pregnancy test

When carrying out the test, one may get a faint line result, which is also known as an evaporation line. Evaporating urine is what causes the line test. One can mistake this line for a positive result, but it is a false positive, and therefore, you should repeat the test to get the correct results. This test takes the same amount of time as positive and negative. 

Sometimes, the control line might be missing, and this is also an indication of a false result. The false results may be due to the lack of enough saturation of your urine on the pregnancy strip and, therefore, you can decide to dip it again and wait for 5 minutes. However, it is best to open another unused kit since they come in sets. 

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Yes or No Test

This test is a blood test done earlier to detect whether there is a possible pregnancy. The test detects the existence of HCG in the blood, which is a sign of pregnancy. Therefore, this test will give you the “yes or no” answer at a very early stage. It is very accurate, just like the urine test. 

Sometimes, you might have an underlying condition such as H-mole and choriocarcinoma that may cause the HCG hormone to be produced even when not pregnant. Therefore, you might have a false result of being pregnant. Thus, you need to get checked frequently to ensure that such conditions do not present themselves as possible pregnancy.

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The Accurate Way to Read the Home Pregnancy Test

Following instructions when it comes to taking a pregnancy test is important. Bear in mind that the pregnancy tests only work if instructions are followed to the latter. The test is known to be very accurate, and hence, if you have any reason to doubt the results, you should see a doctor for further consultations. Here are the guidelines on how to read pregnancy tests accurately.

  • Select the brand you feel more comfortable with when it comes to reading the results. It is best to avoid the complicated ones.
  • Always look at the dates written on the packet when buying it or before you start using your test strip. If it is expired, dispose of it since it will not give you the proper results.
  • Read the instructions that have been written on the case of the kit carefully, even if you have used it before.
  • Ensure the container used to collect urine is sterilized so that the results are not affected.
  • Since you have to pee, don’t drink too much water to induce the pee. This could dilute the HCG levels. It’s recommended to let the pee come uninfluenced.
  • If you are on fertility drugs, call your doctor to check if the medication will interfere with the results.
  • After removing your strip from the case, do not hold it at the middle part where the arrows are. This can cause interference with the result.
  • Know the lines present on the pregnancy kit well. They are two; the control line (could be either pink or blue) to show that the pregnancy test kit is functioning and the test line, which is usually a dark or light shade of pink.
  • Take the test after one week or two weeks of missing your menstrual flow since your result may read negative, which will likely be false because of low HCG levels that have been produced. Therefore, the test might fail to detect HCG in your urine.
  • The test can be taken at any time, but it is always advisable that you take during the morning hours due to the level of urine concentration.
  • Be keen during immersing of the test strip in the container containing urine, so that you don’t insert it past the line written MAX.
  • Wait for ten minutes to get the proper results. Anxiety may take a toll on you, but you need to relax and be patient to read the results correctly. You will notice a colored solution moving across the pregnancy kit, it is normal. So, exercise some patience. Additionally, do not wait for more than ten minutes to read the results since the exact color of the line might have faded.
  • When the control line appears alone, then the test is negative, and chances are there is no pregnancy. However, if two lines appear, then that is an indication of pregnancy. If the control line doesn’t appear, then that is an invalid outcome.

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Closing Remarks

Despite these tests being very accurate if done appropriately, several false results always occur. If this happens to you, visit a doctor for further advice on what to do. Nowadays, women have several reproductive health complications, and thus, nothing should be assumed. Also, it is appropriate to identify everything that will affect the outcome of the test. 

HCG is the determinant pregnancy hormone. Therefore, a urine test is always the way to go, but you need to ensure you read the instructions on the brand of the kit you have selected since every brand has different instructions. 

Taking the test is indeed always an anxious moment for every woman. Nevertheless, in the midst of all the anxiety and the crossing of fingers, one needs to ensure they are doing the correct thing to achieve the correct results. Every step that you do when carrying out your pregnancy test will determine the accuracy of the results. Therefore, always be keen and calm when taking the test.

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