Early Pregnancy Tests: Frequently Asked Questions
The presence of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in urine is an indicator of pregnancy. Fertility2Family provides pregnancy test strips and midstream test kits to detect this hormone from the comfort of your home. Chemically, hCG is partly a carbohydrate and partly a protein (hence a glycoprotein) and is secreted by the placenta. The presence of hCG in the urine and its rise in levels as the pregnancy advances can be an excellent biomarker for detecting pregnancy at an early stage.
What is an early detection pregnancy test & does hCG sensitivity matter?
There are a plethora of home pregnancy tests (HPT) available on the market, but not all of them are equal in terms of their sensitivity toward hCG levels. The sensitivity of a test determines how early and how accurately it can detect pregnancy. All HPT will have the sensitivity to hCG on the packaging. The smaller the number, the higher the sensitivity of the test. A pregnancy test that can sense hCG levels of 10 mIU/ml is significantly more sensitive as compared to a test that can detect hCG levels of 50 or 100 mIU/ml.
Fertility2Family provides one of the most sensitive pregnancy test strips that are designed to detect a very small amount of hCG in the urine. The levels of hCG in the urine are measured in standardized units called milliInternational units (mIU).
Here is a comparison of the sensitivity of Fertility2Family pregnancy tests compares to the current competition in the market:
Fertility2Family Pregnancy Tests: 10 mIU/ml
First Response Early Result (FRER): 6.5 mIU/ml
Clearblue Easy Digital: 25 mIU/ml
eBay cheapies: 25 -50 mIU/ml
Our tests can detect lower levels of hCG in the urine and thus have markedly higher sensitivity for early pregnancy detection. With Fertility2Family tests, you can begin to accurately test pregnancy as early as 7 days past ovulation which is way before you are likely to miss your period, where FRER can be used to detect from 6-7 days past ovulation. Testing with any brand prior to 7DPO such as 3DPO, 4DPO and even 6DPO can lead to incorrect and misleading results.
When to take a pregnancy test during my cycle?
You don’t need to wait till you have missed your period to get a pregnancy test. You can test as early as a week past ovulation. It is also recommended to use early morning urine for testing for pregnancy if you are testing early in your cycle. Morning urine has the highest hCG concentration, and hence you stand the best chance to get accurate results. Your body starts producing hCG when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall. This is called implantation, which occurs between six and 12 days past ovulation.
How to use your tests?
A home pregnancy test is easy to take. That said, you need to follow the instructions carefully and precisely to avoid any false-positive results. It is very easy to use test strips as well as midstream pregnancy tests.
If you are using the strips, collect the urine in a clean container and immerse the strip into the urine by holding the coloured end of the test strip.
Avoid touching the absorbent part of the strip to avoid any cross-contamination. Now, immerse the strip vertically into the collected urine till the MAX line. Make sure that you are not immersing it past the MAX line. Remove the strip after 15 seconds and lay it on a flat and non-absorbent surface. Leave it undisturbed for 3 minutes till it develops a coloured band. At this time, the strip is ready to be read. Make sure that you are interpreting the results within 5 minutes.
Testing with a midstream kit is equally simple. All you need to do is to hold the testing stick so that the absorbent tip is located at the bottom and the handle is facing you. Now hold the test stick in-stream of your urine until the absorbent end is thoroughly soaked with urine. Once you are done, seal the absorbent end by putting on the included cap. The results can be interpreted as early as a minute after performing the test but interpreting the results between 3- 5 minutes is key for accurate results. Our detailed instructions help make testing easier.
Are home pregnancy test kits accurate?
The short answer to this question is simply – yes! Under standard conditions, the home pregnancy tests can have an accuracy of 99% and all reliable tests sold in Australia are registered and checked with the TGA for quality. The inaccuracies are often the result of failure to stick with the instructions. Certain circumstances and conditions may affect the accuracy of a home pregnancy test kit, including the concurrent use of fertility medication or even too dilute a urine sample.
Is the first-morning urine indeed best for testing?
Home pregnancy tests detect the level of hCG in the urine. As a result, you will get the most accurate results if the concentration of this hormone is the highest. If the urine sample is too dilute, the kit might not be able to give you the most accurate results. During the day, we often consume a rather large quantity of water, thereby producing a dilute urine sample. In contrast to this, early morning urine is often concentrated and contains a high hCG amount. Hence it is the best sample to test with an HPT. If you want to use a test during the day, it is generally advisable that you reduce your fluids before taking the test and should hold your urine for a few hours before conducting a test.
Faint line on a pregnancy test
It is not uncommon to see a fainter test band compared to the control band on both the strip tests and midstream tests. A faint test band is indicative of a lower amount of hCG in the urine sample, but a faint line that has colour in the test panel indicates a positive pregnancy test.
The amount of hCG in the urine doubles every two days during the pregnancy. Hence, if you observe a faint band in the test, we recommend you to retake the test in a couple of days and use the first-morning urine for the best results. Again, you must follow the instructions meticulously for the most accurate results. You can find detailed instructions.
Is a false positive pregnancy test possible?
The occurrence of a false positive pregnancy test is quite rare. That said, there are conditions and situations where it can be possible to have false-positive results as well. One such situation is observed in some nonpregnant women where some tissues might be able to secrete minute quantities of hCG. Although the hCG levels secreted are so small that they normally can’t be detected by home pregnancy kits.
Another situation may arise in the case of what is called a chemical pregnancy. According to some researchers, as much as half of all the conceptions (fertilized eggs) don’t translate into full pregnancies. In such situations, there can be positive pregnancy tests but no obvious signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Another issue that often results in ‘false positives’ is simply misinterpretations of the results. The results can vary if you fail to follow the instructions.
My test was negative for the first five minutes but became positive after several minutes. Is it a positive result?
It is very crucial to interpreting the results within the time limit of 5 minutes. If the hCG levels are quite high, you can see the positive results well under a minute. However, to rule out any false-negative result, a complete reaction time of 5 minutes is required. If the results are not positive within 5 minutes, you should discard the test immediately. Tests interpreted after the stipulated 5 minutes of reaction are not considered positive results. Many test strips and dip and read pregnancy tests start to show what is called an evaporation line after 5 minutes that can be easily misinterpreted as a positive test. Hence, you must follow the instructions accurately.
So, if you are not able to see a positive result within 5 minutes, then the test is negative irrespective of what happens after this time.
False-negative pregnancy test also possible?
A false-negative test means that you are indeed pregnant, but the test is negative. Theoretically, false negatives are also possible, but they often arise from testing too early after ovulation. Testing before 7 days past ovulation has shown to return a negative result 99.97% of the time regardless if you are pregnant.
A false negative can also be attributed to using a very dilute urine sample in conjunction with testing far too early during the cycle. The ideal urine sample is the first urine of the morning.
The levels of hCG can vary with gestational stages. Moreover, different women produce different levels of hCG at similar gestational stages as well. SO, the test results may vary between women at a similar gestational stage. It is always recommended to see your doctor for confirming pregnancy with a blood hCG test even if your home pregnancy test comes out positive.
What effect, if any, do fertility medications have on home pregnancy tests?
The possibility of a false positive home pregnancy test arises only if you are receiving a medication that contains hCG itself. Some medications with hCG that are commonly prescribed as fertility medicines include Profasi and Pregnyl. If you are on such medication, make sure that you consult with your doctor regarding the use of home pregnancy test kits. Any other medication and vitamins, including progesterone, will not interfere with the test results of a home pregnancy test.