Getting pregnant is one of the most freighted and exciting moments in women’s life. You have your period delayed, and then you start to wonder if you could be pregnant. You go to the drugstore, buy a pregnancy test, you get nervous, and then you wait. So, how long do pregnancy tests take? This article will help you understand everything you need to know about it.
How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?
A pregnancy test is designed to detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a woman’s urine. This hormone is produced by the placenta after a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. A pregnancy test can be done at home, and it is either a urine test or a blood test that measures the levels of hCG in your body. A urine test is the most common type of pregnancy test and is affordable and accessible. The urine test can be performed as early as ten days after ovulation, the time when the egg is released and picked up by a sperm.
The Different Types of Pregnancy Tests?
There are two types of pregnancy tests, the urine test and the blood test. Both tests measure the levels of hCG in your body, but a blood test is more sensitive than a urine test. A blood test can measure hCG levels even before a woman has missed her period, whereas a urine test can detect hCG from the first day of a missed period.
How Long Does It Take for Results?
The length of time it takes to get results varies depending on the type of test you use. A blood test often provides results within 24-48 hours. However, if the lab is overworked or understaffed, you may not receive results for several days. The urine test results can be ready in just a few minutes by reading the color change on the test stick. Digital tests are another type of urine test that provides results within 3 minutes.
How Accurate Are Pregnancy Tests?
Both pregnancy tests have similar levels of accuracy. A home urine pregnancy test is about 99% accurate when used correctly, which means taking the test on the first day of your missed period or later. The accuracy of a blood test is 99%. However, false positives or negatives can occur if the test is not used correctly, the test is past its expiration date or if certain medications contain hCG.
What Can Affect the Results of a Pregnancy Test?
The results of a pregnancy test may be affected by certain medications or medical conditions, such as fertility treatments, ectopic pregnancy, or menopause. It is important to always read the manufacturer’s instructions and take the test correctly.
What Are False Positives and False Negatives?
A false positive is when a pregnancy test indicates you are pregnant while you are not. False positives can occur due to evaporation lines, medications containing hCG, or user error. A false negative is when a pregnancy test indicates that you are not pregnant when you are. False negatives can occur if you take the test too early before the hCG levels are detectable or if there is a problem with the test.
What Should I Do if I Get a Positive Result?
You should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you get a positive result. They will verify the results, perform an ultrasound to check for complications and give you pregnancy care tips.
How Soon Can I Tell If I’m Pregnant?
You can tell if you’re pregnant by taking a urine pregnancy test as early as ten days after ovulation. Some women wait until they’ve missed their period to take a test. If you have irregular menstrual periods, a blood test may be used for confirmation.
Factors That Can Affect How Long a Pregnancy Test Takes
The length of time it takes for a pregnancy test to give results can vary depending on several factors.
Testing Too Early
Testing too early can lead to inaccurate or incorrect test results. If you take a test before the hCG levels have built up enough in your urine or blood, a test may return a false negative. It is recommended to take the test after you have missed your period.
The Type of Test
The type of test you take can affect how long it takes to get results. Some tests have sensitive and clear guidelines that can make reading the results easy, while others may have unclear guidelines or require a visit to a doctor or lab.
Incorrect use of a pregnancy test can lead to inaccurate results. Reading the instructions carefully, using a test at the appropriate time, and following the proper procedure can help ensure that the test results are accurate.
Some medications, such as fertility drugs, can increase hCG levels in your body and give false positive results. Talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking that might affect the results of a pregnancy test.
Home pregnancy tests are affordable, accessible, and popular. It is important to read the instructions carefully and take the test at the appropriate time to get accurate results. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.
- Q: How soon can you take a pregnancy test after intercourse?
- A: You should wait until after you have missed your period before taking a pregnancy test.
- Q: Can I take a pregnancy test before my missed period?
- A: You can take a pregnancy test before your missed period, but the results may not be accurate.
- Q: How do I know if a pregnancy test is positive or negative?
- A: A positive pregnancy test typically appears as a line or color change on the test stick. A negative result usually indicates no line or no color change.
- Q: What should I do if I get a negative result but still think I’m pregnant?
- A: Wait a week and take another pregnancy test or contact your healthcare provider for a blood test.
- “When to take a pregnancy test.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 Mar. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy-test/art-20047940.
- “Pregnancy Tests.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Oct. 2020, www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/diagnosis-testing/pregnancy-tests.html.
- “Understanding Pregnancy Tests: Urine and Blood Tests.” American Pregnancy Association, 3 Dec. 2020, americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/early-pregnancy-tests/.
- “Tips for the Best Results on a Home Pregnancy Test.” Verywell Family, Verywell Family, 11 Mar. 2021, www.verywellfamily.com/how-do-i-take-a-home-pregnancy-test-4556244.