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Pregnancy Tests: How to Choose and Use One?


Wondering if you're pregnant? Do you want to find out? There're many available ways to determine whether or not you're pregnant. Check at your nearest pharmacy to learn more about your options.

Your period is late for a few days, you're unusually fatigue, nauseous and the sore breasts begin to drive you moody: Are you pregnant?


Some women experience telltale signs of early pregnancy symptoms while some don't. Therefore, it is not advisable to rely on the presence or absence of symptoms to determine whether or not you're pregnant. The more recommended way is definitely taking pregnancy tests. This is the best way to confirm or to rule out a pregnancy.

HOW DOES PREGNANCY TEST WORK?

Pregnancy tests detect the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (or hCG). This hormone is produced by the embryo shortly after conception. When there is the presence of hCG in a mother's urine or blood, it allows to detect a pregnancy.


Since the hormone is present in both blood and urine, you can opt for a blood test in the hospital or to get a pregnancy test kit which detects hormone in urine from the pharmacy.


We strongly advise getting the pregnancy test kits from a pharmacy first since it's:

1. easily available

2. available at low cost

3. easy to use with relatively high accuracy


WHEN TO TAKE A PREGNANCY TEST?


You should wait to take a pregnancy test until the week after your missed period for the most accurate result. You may receive an inaccurate result if the test is taken too early in your cycle. These are some of the symptoms to watch out for that indicate the need for a pregnancy test:

If you think you may be pregnant, whether the pregnancy is desired or not, you will probably want to know as soon as possible. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that your results are accurate.


USING A PREGNANCY TEST


Home pregnancy tests (HPTs) are quite accurate. Most tests are 99 percent effective if taken after a missed period. Below discusses the method of using a pregnancy test:

1. Open the test after checking the expiry date and reading the instructions.

Pregnancy test does expire. Do check properly before using.

2. Collect your urine based on instructions of the test you choose.


You may need to:

  • collect your urine in a cup and dip a testing stick into the liquid

  • collect your urine in a cup and use an eyedropper to move a small amount of fluid into a special container

  • place the testing stick into the area of your expected urine stream so that it will catch your urine midstream



3. Perform the test and wait for the recommended amount of time to view the results.


After the recommended waiting time has passed, the tests will display your results in one of the following ways:

  • a change in color

  • a line

  • a symbol, such as plus or minus

  • the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant”



CAN I BE PREGNANT EVEN IF THE TEST IS NEGATIVE?


YES. Even when a result shows that you're not pregnant, this may not be 100% certain. There're several factors which can falsify results:

  • test taken too early;

  • urine is too diluted

  • misreading the result (especially for tests that use colours);

  • using an expired test.

If, after seven days, you still don’t get your period, you can take a second test. If the result is still negative, consider seeing a doctor.


Do you need a reliable gynaecologist / obstetrician? Click here to find out more about DR TAN CHONG SEONG from Alpha IVF and Women's Specialist.


WHAT IF THE TEST IS POSITIVE?


It is also possible for a test to indicate that you are pregnant when you actually are not. This possibility, however, is very rare. Just found out you're pregnant? CONGRATULATIONS! Now, take a deep breath, we are giving you some guidelines to manage those early days.





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