What You Need to Know About Taking A Pregnancy Test

How does pregnancy occur?

Pregnancy happens when a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg. Fertilization happens in the fallopian tube after which the fertilized egg attaches itself in the lining of the uterus. This normally happens within 3-4 days after conception.

How do I know I am pregnant?

One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is delayed/missed period. You can start experiencing pregnancy symptoms as soon as one week after conception. Other early signs of pregnancy are: nausea that may or may not be accompanied by vomiting, tender, swollen breasts, frequent urination and fatigue.

When should I take a pregnancy test?

If you experience the above symptoms after a delayed or missed period, then you know it’s time to take that pregnancy test. Pregnancy test kits are usually available OTC (over the counter) in pharmacies but if you can, visit your gynecologist.

How does a pregnancy test work?

When you are pregnant, your body produces the human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. This hormone doubles every 36-48 hours and normally reaches its peak at around 8-10 weeks of pregnancy. A pregnancy test works to detect this particular hormone in your urine or blood. It is advisable to take the test in the morning when you wake up because it is when the hCG concentration is highest in your urine.

How do I take a pregnancy test?

If you are doing the test on your own, all you need to do is buy a pregnancy test kit from a trusted pharmacy and follow the steps presented. Be sure to check the expiry date to avoid any false results. For most pregnancy tests, you will need to collect your urine in a cup then dip the testing strip/stick. The results should be ready in about 2-5 minutes.

Can I get a false result?

Yes, it is possible for your pregnancy test to be inaccurate. A false negative test can occur if you take the test too soon after conception – the hCG levels are usually too low to be detected at such a time. If your pregnancy test turns out negative and you still don’t see your period one week later, then it is advisable to take another test. Although rarely, a false positive test can also occur.

Knowing when and how to take a pregnancy test is important because knowing what step to take next will be highly dependent on your results.