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Updated 28 October 2013

Pregnancy tests

How do you know for sure that you are pregnant? A simple test will tell.

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Home pregnancy tests
The first pregnancy test one can do is the “do it yourself” home pregnancy test – as early as the first day of your missed period. Most tests are accurate 95-99% of the time if performed correctly.

These tests are used on urine samples. After implantation, the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is released by the placenta and can be found in blood or urine. The pregnancy test detects the presence of this hormone in the urine.

Follow the instructions carefully as incorrect administration can reduce the accuracy of the test. Some tests require you to use urine first thing in the morning as the concentration of hCG is higher at this time of day.

If you test positive, it is recommended that you confirm the result with a blood test. Blood tests can be done seven to ten days after conception. False negative results are more common. In the case of a negative result in the absence of your period, repeat the test a few weeks later. If the result remains negative and your period still hasn’t started, see your doctor.

Blood tests
The blood test tests for the hormone hCG which is present in the blood eight days after conception.


 
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