Am I Pregnant? How to Read a Pregnancy Test?

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A pregnancy test can confirm if a woman is pregnant or not which can be carried out at home or at doctor’s clinic. If a woman misses a period or other signs suggest the pregnancy, it is a good idea to take a test and confirm it. Testing early helps to ensure that the mother gets proper care and prenatal care for the baby. Maintaining the health and well-being is essential at all times but especially during pregnancy for the mother and the baby.

In this article:

How does a Pregnancy Test Work?
Does a Faint Positive Line Mean a Pregnancy?
Can a Faint Line be Negative?
What is an Evaporation Line?
How Long does it Take to Read the Pregnancy Test?
What Should I do if I Get a Faint Positive Test?
How Many Pregnancy Tests Should You Take to Confirm?
When Should I Call the Doctor?

Tips to Read Pregnancy Test: Positive and Negative Results

how to read a pregnancy test

How does a Pregnancy Test Work?

A pregnancy test works on the principle by measuring the amount of hCG hormone. hCG levels increase during pregnancy and is known as pregnancy hormone because it is produced by the cells that form the placenta and provide nourishment to the growing embryo. It is released when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. It can be present in the blood and urine around 10 to 14 days after conception. It peaks between 8 and 11 weeks of gestation.

  • Negative hCG result is a level less than 5 mlU/ml
  • Positive hCG for pregnancy is greater than or equal to 25 mlU/ml

Does a Faint Positive Line Mean a Pregnancy?

There is a good chance that pregnancy can occur if a faint positive line appears on a home test. Every pregnancy and pregnancy test varies. Some people have a noticeable dark line when pregnancy test is taken while others notice more of a faint positive line. This is particularly true and seen in early pregnancy when hormones levels are much lower.

Can a Faint Line be Negative?

Some medications contain hCG as an active ingredient and taking these can lead to a false positive test result. Another possibility is a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage that occurs in the 13 weeks after conception.

After a pregnancy loss, it takes some time for hCG levels to return to previous levels and become normal. Pregnancy tests measure hCG levels and so taking a test during this time will still give a positive result. Only a doctor can tell whether a faint positive results due to early pregnancy, medication or a chemical pregnancy.

But if faint positive test result while bleeding or have a period, it may indicate a chemical pregnancy.

What is an Evaporation Line?

An evaporation line is a type of false positive result that can be seen with a pregnancy test. If someone has left a pregnancy test for longer than advised, the urine on the stick begins to evaporate which lead to the line to blur or look distorted. In some cases, evaporation can make a single line resembling two different lines and giving a false positive result.

How Long does it Take to Read the Pregnancy Test?

For most accurate result wait for pregnancy test until the week after missed period.

When taking a pregnancy test, it is essential to read the instructions carefully. It is advised to go through the instructions and reading the results within a specific time after taking the test.

What Should I do if I Get a Faint Positive Test?

The faint positive home pregnancy test result should wait a few days and then repeat the test again to check the result. If the test is positive a second time, contact the doctor. If the test is negative and had a period it is likely that it was an early miscarriage or chemical pregnancy.

Early miscarriages are common and do not usually impact a woman’s ability to become pregnant later on.

How Many Pregnancy Tests Should You Take to Confirm?

Two main types of pregnancy tests to confirm are – urine tests and blood tests.

Urine Tests

It can be at home or in the clinic. Some home pregnancy tests can detect hCG the day of the missed period. Home pregnancy tests are considered as private and convenient. The tests come with instructions and follow them closely for the most accurate results. After testing, the doctor will confirm the results and perform even more sensitive pregnancy tests.

Blood Tests

It is done in the clinic but is used less often than urine tests. These tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test or about 6 to 8 days after the ovulation. But with these tests, it is seen that it takes longer to get the results than with a home pregnancy test.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

If used correctly, a urine pregnancy test should be around 99% accurate. Also, incorrect use can result in an inaccurate reading. A positive home pregnancy test means that hCG is present in the urine while a negative test can have a variety of meanings.

Negative tests can mean that there is no pregnancy or they can mean that the test was either taken too early to detect hCG or that it was not done properly.

If the result is positive, the woman should make an appointment to a doctor to guide about the next steps. If the result is negative, but the woman has the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, then the test should be done again after 1 week or ask a doctor about a blood test instead.

Conclusion

A positive home pregnancy test result should always be followed up with a doctor’s appointment. The doctor may give you a urine or blood test to confirm the results and monitor the hCG levels.

References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295001.php

https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-tests#1

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!

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