Pregnancy Test

Are you ready for a pregnancy test? As you cross your fingers for the big moment, get familiar with everything about pregnancy tests.

Last Updated: 22 October 2020

Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy Test

If you have been expecting, you must have checked yourself for early pregnancy signs. Perhaps, some of it matched with what you are experiencing now. Yet, if you desire the certainty of your pregnancy, it can come along with a home pregnancy test.

What is home pregnancy test?

What is commonly referred to as a pregnancy test is a kit-based test which can be done at the comfort of your home and does not require the help of a medical professional. If the test instructions are correctly followed, you can dependably derive at whether you are pregnant or not.

How does a pregnancy test work?

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a pregnancy hormone produced by your body during the early months of your pregnancy. Home pregnancy tests detect the presence of hCG in your urine.

The home pregnancy test kit usually includes a test strip or a test card and each kit carries with it clear instructions of the test procedure. On placing a drop of your urine sample on the indicated space on the test strip, the test urine runs across the strip, over pre-coated lines of control and test.

Interpretation of test results

Allow enough time which is specified in the instructions before reading the results. For all results, both positive and negative, the control line gets highlighted (most often in pink color) while the test line can show up only for a positive pregnancy test.

Note that if the control line does not show up the pink line, it means that the test is invalid and needs to be redone.

How soon can you take a pregnancy test?

Though your pregnancy begins soon after ovulation and intercourse, it can take a few days to a few weeks until the pregnancy hormones begin to show up in your system. Ideally, 7 to 10 days after your missed period is a reasonable timeline to take your first pregnancy test. Remember that unless the pregnant mother is producing detectable levels of hCG, the test cannot pick up a positive result. That is why it is important to allow sufficient time before trying on a home pregnancy test.

A pregnancy test done two weeks after conception, that is, around the time of the missed period, may, in rare cases, give a positive result too. However, a negative result in a pregnancy test done at the missed period time can be a false negative because it could be too early for a pregnancy test and hCG levels might not be sufficient enough yet.

When is the best time of the day to do a pregnancy test?

A positive pregnancy test is not sensitive to a particular time of the day although taking the test with the first urine in the morning is recommended. hCG in the urine gets accumulated over long hours and thus the first morning pee is more likely to show a positive result.

What does a faint line on pregnancy test mean?

Sometimes, a faint line on pregnancy test can leave you thinking if you are pregnant or not pregnant. When you read a faint line, repeat the test or wait for 2-3 days before you redo the test.

There could be three reasons why a faint test line appears on a pregnancy test:

  • The hCG levels in your urine test sample is not high enough to create a dark test line. In this case, if you repeat the test in a couple of days, you might get a thicker line on the pregnancy test.
  • The faint line on pregnancy test can also indicate a false positive result because of the evaporation effect. An evaporation line can sometimes appear when the test line picks up the control line’s positive hCG through evaporation and can be misleading.
  • In unfortunate cases, a faint line on pregnancy test can be because of an early miscarriage and the residual hCG in the urine can give rise to a faint line. 
  • How accurate are pregnancy tests?

    Provided home pregnancy test is taken at the appropriate time of pregnancy, it is highly reliable with 99% accuracy. The fact that the pregnancy test is dependent on pregnancy hormones and not external signs of pregnancy makes it an authentic for pregnancy confirmation.

    Positive pregnancy test: What next?

    Hurray! Your home pregnancy test shows up two pink lines. It is time for a celebration! You can now relish in the most-awaited feeling – the beginning of motherhood!


    Following a positive pregnancy test, it is recommended that you consult your doctor. A pregnancy blood test will be done at a medical laboratory to further confirm your pregnancy and also to know how long you have been pregnant. Your doctor might prescribe prenatal vitamins and other blood parameters to be analyzed in order to access your health conditions.

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