Pregnancy tests have become more accurate. Today’s tests are correct up to 97% if taken correctly at the right time. The test can show if you are pregnant as soon as you are one day late with your period. The way the test reports that you are pregnant is if the amount of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is at a high level in your urine.
What Does a Positive Pregnancy Test Look Like?
If you have already seen one on television you know that a pregnancy test consists of a plastic device that will read how much of the pregnancy hormone, or hCG, you have in your urine. The test has two lines with the test line being the one that will show that you are pregnant. The problem occurs when the line is too light to see.
The whole test boils down to determining how much hCG is present in your urine. If either of the lines is visible however faint, it could mean you are pregnant, especially if you were to come back later and find out that the line got darker after you set it aside. If you get a faint line on the test, it mostly likely indicates implatation and pregnancy.
When Does a Positive Pregnancy Test Occur?
Positive testing for a pregnancy test usually happens about 5 days before you miss your period and 3 to 4 days after implantation bleeding shows up in a blood specimen. The urine test in the home pregnancy test can detect the pregnancy hormone from 6 to 7 days after the egg has been implanted and even as early as 2 or 3 days before you even miss your period.
In order for a positive pregnancy test to occur, the egg has to be fertilized and be implanted into the uterus. Then it sends out large amounts of hCG into your blood stream; this ultimately ends up in your urine which indicates on a pregnancy test that the results are positive.
When to Take a Pregnancy Test?
While many home pregnancy tests are said to be accurate as soon as you have missed your period for one day, you should really wait until you have missed your period for a full week.
Once the egg becomes fertilized and finds its way into the uterine, the pregnancy hormone swings into motion at a fairly fast pace. Sometimes it can actually double within a couple of days. A home pregnancy test may not be able to pick up on this right away. If you are looking for a more accurate pregnancy test that can be conducted right away so you don’t have to wait, check with your physician or health care provider and ask them to do a blood test.
Can It Be a False Positive Pregnancy Test?
While it doesn’t happen often, you can get a false pregnancy reading saying that you are pregnant when you are not. This is very upsetting to women who are trying very hard to become pregnant. There are many reasons that you could get a false positive pregnancy reading; here are a few to watch out for:
1. Didn‘t use the pregnancy test correctly.
This is one of the main reasons that women get an incorrect pregnancy reading. Each test is different so especially make sure to read the instructions if you get a different test than your last one.
2. Check the lines.
If you don’t read the test in the time frame, you may end up seeing the lines on the test strip that have come from your evaporated urine. You could very easily think it is just a positive line that just appears to be faint.
3. Check the date on the test.
Pregnancy tests can expire and if you haven’t checked the date, it could be the reason for the inaccurate results.
4. Don‘t jump the gun.
Experts in the fertility field have said that there is up to a 70 percent chance of your pregnancy resulting in a miscarriage. You could even been technically pregnant without even knowing it and miscarried before your regular period occurred. You should wait until you have missed your regular period for a week to get a good reading.
5. Check your medications.
You may receive a false reading from your pregnancy test because of some of the prescription medications you are taking. Medications that can affect your hCG levels include:
- Specific tranquilizers
- Certain diuretics
- hCG injections
- Medications for Parkinson’s
6. Your urine sample may have become contaminated.
Some of the things that may have affected your test results include blood, detergent or soap.
7. Other medical conditions.
There are medical conditions that may interfere with a correct reading such as an ovarian cyst, menopause or a rare tumor (trophoblastic).
8. If you were recently pregnant.
If you were just pregnant you may still register as pregnant even if you didn’t carry the baby to full term.
So what do you do from here?
- If you have positive pregnancy test results from a home test or the results were mixed, you should get a blood test taken from your physician to confirm the results. If you are pregnant, you need to start your prenatal care right away.
- If the test was negative but you still haven’t got your period, repeat the test in a couple of days or even a week. You may have taken the test too soon after your last period.
- With continued negative results, you should consult your doctor to see why you are getting negative results but still not getting your period. You may have other things that are interfering with your regular menstrual cycle such as stress, hormonal imbalances, too much strenuous exercise, or a recent illness.