This is the most common--- and inexpensive--- type of testing pregnancy. A urine test can be performed in a clinic or, the more popular option, by using home pregnancy tests (HPT).
Urine pregnancy tests work by identifying the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a urine sample, which is only present when you are pregnant. It is recommended to take a urine test at least twice, because some women’s hCG levels vary in terms of detection.
Home Pregnancy Test
Home pregnancy tests can be purchased in drugstores (over the counter), and usually look like a simple stick, with a result window that is either digital or analog. It can be dipped in the collected urine or held straight in the urine stream. After quite some time (most brands suggest a 10-minute waiting time for accurate results), two lines will emerge in the result window, indicating that you are, indeed, pregnant. Sometimes, the result can be a plus symbol or the actual word “pregnant.”
Urine tests--- clinical or HPT--- give the same result, even if they are done in different locations. They both rely on urine and hCG levels, so it does not matter which one you will use. The only advantage of testing in a clinic, however, is that you can easily ask a doctor about the procedure and results.
Some women are not comfortable with home pregnancy tests; this is why they opt for a blood test to double-check and make sure that the results are accurate.
When it comes to blood pregnancy tests, doctors usually check the blood in two ways:
- Quantitative blood test - Also called the beta hCG test, this type detects and measures the exact number of hCG in the blood--- even the tiniest hCG there is--- which makes it very accurate.
- Qualitative blood test - Unlike the quantitative test, this one only determines if the hCG is present in the blood or not, making it deliver a “yes” or “no” answer only.
These blood pregnancy tests are exclusively taken at clinics or doctor’s office. It is also more expensive compared to home pregnancy tests, but it can detect amounts of hCG much earlier than the latter. So, if you have enough money to spare, it is recommended to give blood test a try.
How Accurate Are Pregnancy Test?
When taking a pregnancy test, accuracy is very, very important. Women simply cannot (and should not) bear false positives or false negatives when it comes to finding out the real status of their pregnancy.
So, just how accurate are pregnancy tests?
Even though urine tests--- especially home pregnancy tests--- cost less than blood tests, they can be as accurate as the latter. If done properly and on the right time, an HPT can deliver 100% correct results--- even if taken only once.
However, it is the responsibility of the user to assure the right way of using a home pregnancy test. All HPT kits include instruction manuals, so make sure to read all pointers carefully before proceeding with the test. If it says “wait 10 minutes after doing the test,” willingly comply because it can affect the result of the test.
A quantitative blood test, because of its ability to exactly count the number of hCG in the blood, can be the most accurate pregnancy test of them all. Since it can detect even the tiny hCGs, there is no doubt that the result of a quantitative blood test is reliable and precise.
Meanwhile, a qualitative blood test shares the same level of accuracy as a urine blood test. Since it can only detect the presence of hCG, its reliability is not the same as a quantitative blood test.
Where To Purchase Pregnancy Tests?
So, have you decided which pregnancy test to take? If the answer is yes, then it is time to find out where you can acquire your choice of test.
Blood pregnancy tests and clinic urine tests can only be performed in a health facility, such as hospitals, clinics, or doctor’s office. They make use of highly-specialized equipment to accurately determine if you are pregnant or not, and, unlike home pregnancy tests, doctors can be within your reach if ever you have questions or concerns.
Home pregnancy test
Home pregnancy tests vary, depending on the brand and type (digital or not), with prices ranging from $1 to a little over $40.
This kind of pregnancy test is easily available in all drugstores in the United States, and it can be readily purchased over the counter, without so much fuss and no questions asked. For example, Walgreens offer a variety of good home pregnancy test brands, such as Clear Blue (less than $30), First Response (less than $25), and Answer (less than $10). They also have their very own Walgreens Pregnancy Test, which costs $11.99.
Some online stores also offer pregnancy test kits, although you should be careful when making a purchase on the Internet. Make sure that the website is legitimate, like AccuratePregnancyTests.com, which offers HPTs for less than $5.
Where To Purchase Pregnancy Tests?
Pregnancy tests yield different results, depending on the person taking it. While to some women, all it takes is one try, most women have to double-check--- even triple-check--- just to verify the accuracy of the test.
The bottom-line is it all boils down to the person taking the test. With responsible and proper use of pregnancy tests, you can be sure that the result will be reliable and trustworthy.