When to Take a Pregnancy Test and What Kind?
The below sections will help you determine when to take a pregnancy test and what kind of test you should be taking.
When to take a Urine Test?
One of the major benefits to using a test that checks the hormone levels in urine is that there are many of these tests available in stores. This allows you to take a pregnancy test in the privacy of your own home at a time that is convenient to you. However, it does take the pregnancy hormones longer to show up in urine than in blood. This means that you cannot get the result as soon as you can with a blood test. By the time of a missed period about 3 in 4 pregnant women have a positive pregnancy test. The best time to take this test is first thing in the morning when the hormone concentration is highest. However, some of the newer tests claim to work equally well at any time of day. Another benefit is the immediacy of the results. In as few as three minutes you can have the results of your test.
It is important to note that a negative home pregnancy test is not 100% reliable while a positive test usually means you are pregnant. The tests can read false negative from time to time and a women who may think she is pregnant will read she is not pregnant and thus not inquire about prenatal care. If the test reads negative and the menstrual cycle does not begin for another week, retesting is indicated as the hCG levels may not have been high enough to trigger a positive test result.
Urine pregnancy tests that read positive should immediately be followed up with a physician. There are no false positives when it comes to an at home urine pregnancy test.
When to take a Blood Test?
Taking a pregnancy test that checks the hormone levels in the blood can only be done at a hospital or a doctors’ office. Additionally, you have to wait several hours to several days for the results because they must be run by a lab. Waiting for these results can be nerve wracking which is one of the reasons they are less popular than the quicker urine tests. However, the blood test does have benefits over the urine test. The blood test can be done a few days sooner and is slightly more accurate. There is no specific time of the day that this test is more accurate so you can schedule the lab work at your leisure.
Before any prenatal care can begin, doctors will require you take a pregnancy test in office. The blood testing is the most accurate and can often reveal the presence of multiples before an ultrasound is completed. In mothers pregnant with multiples the hCG levels in the blood will read she is farther along in the pregnancy that physically possible and that will trigger an ultrasound to verify the multiple pregnancy.