Pregnancy Testing; The role of hCG in getting pregnant
hCG and its role in pregnancy & receiving a positive pregnancy test
hCG, commonly Known as human chorionic gonadotropin is referred to in most cases as the pregnancy hormone. Women that have taken an early home pregnancy test (HPT) will tell that hCG is the hormone that you will find detected when handling the pregnancy test strips. The details that are found behind hCG are commonly known by doctors alone because they will understand the function and the role that will play during a woman’s pregnancy process. This article is going to purposely discuss hCG, its purpose, how fast it will increase in the reproductive system, and then the right time that you will be testing for pregnancy during your cycle.
The first thing that we have to understand about this hormone is that it is the one that is secreted by the placenta. After the egg has been implanted, ovulation will take place, and then fertilization or conception will be the next thing that will follow. A few days later, the egg that has been fertilized will implant in the uterus wall. That’s the point that will start allowing the hCG hormone to start flowing. It is produced by the pregnancy cells and placental tissues. The production means that hCG will have to pass through the woman’s body, and that’s why you will find it present in either urine or blood.
The reproductive function of hCG
Even before ovulation has taken place, what will start is the maturing of the egg in the ovarian follicle. The egg will be set free after the woman has ovulated and that is when the reproductive hormones will switch gears. Estrogen which is dominant during the early stages of pregnancy will give way to progesterone. The major function of progesterone is to warm the body so that there is a fertile environment for fertilization to take place. There is also an elevation of progesterone that will prevent menstruation from taking place, always referred to as the first sign of pregnancy.
At this stage, the function of hCG will become clear. It will send a message to its counterpart, the corpus luteum so that it keeps the continuous flow of progesterone. A decrease of progesterone during the second half of a woman’s cycle means that a woman will receive her period as normal. When conception and implantation have taken place, hCG that’s secreted by the placental tissue will ensure that there is continued release of the progesterone hormone by the corpus luteum.
The simple thing that occurs at this stage as we have seen earlier is keeping the body to be at a higher warmer environment so that menstruation will not take place. This temp should stay like that and never drop even around the date that you expected your period.
When can I begin testing for pregnancy during my cycle?
When you have 10 mIU hCG pregnancy tests that are rated high sensitivity, you can go ahead to test for pregnancy at around 7-10 days past ovulation testing early such as 3DPO, 4DPO, 5DPO and 6DPO are considered to be too early and can lead to misleading results. This is the time the level of hCG increases and passes the usual level mark. Not all women are the same and at some point, they will develop differently. Others will have slow progress when it comes to hCG development. When you get a negative test, you are advised to do consecutive tests after every 24-48 hours by using the first-morning urine sample. This is essential as they will yield the highest levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG. When you get a positive pregnancy test, following it up with the doctor after you have gotten a positive pregnancy test two days in a row
Testing for pregnancy at home
When testing for pregnancy, you will look for the presence of hCG in your urine. To know the right time that you should start to test for pregnancy. Let us try to answer that in the simple terms as possible.
Once ovulation occurs, the events that occur at this timeline are very essential for your understanding. When conception takes place, it is good to know that an embryo is still a free-floating unit in the womb. What will release hCG is when implantation has taken place. Implantation does not occur during day one, but after several days after conception, that’s an average of 6 days but can be between 6 & 12 days past ovulation. When implantation occurs, hCG is then released and the amount always increases after 2-3 days. This is exponential and is referred to as hCG doubling time. Using ovulation tests to track your cycle will allow you to tell how many days past ovulation you are and allow for more accurate times to use a pregnancy test kit.
There are different forms of tests that you can undertake to know your pregnancy status. But the expensive process that existed initially is zeroing down to something that can be done within the four walls of your home. Here are the two most famous tests to receive your positive pregnancy test on.
Pregnancy Strip tests
HPTs are the more affordable and cheaper option that is available on the market today. They don’t have any plastic casing on them and are thinner than the in-stream test. The results are as accurate as midstream tests, They require you to collect urine in a urine collection cup which might turn out to be time-consuming and a little messy, but due to being able to detect early pregnancy while being super affordable, this choice is the most popular pregnancy test.
They are considered to be a bit larger and have a plastic area over their testing area. The casing is there to ensure that you collect urine with ease and keep them safe under a clear window. They have a wider testing panel and therefore giving you an easier reading platform. Both the dip & read pregnancy tests have the same sensitivity and accuracy levels as the in-stream test. Choices are always depending on what you will love to use.