Home pregnancy tests allow women to test for pregnancy in the privacy of their own homes. Their prices also make them very cost effective. However, stories of inaccurate results- faint positives, false positives and false negatives may force women to reconsider their decision of using an HPT.
There are so many brands of HPT kits available over the market that we often think they are made equal. But, they are not. Certain brands are developed to provide more accurate results than the others. Thus, Home Pregnancy Tests are reliable provided you choose the right kit.
Given below are tips to choose the most accurate Home Pregnancy test.
How do Home Pregnancy Tests work?
Home Pregnancy Tests or HPTs as they are popularly called determine pregnancy by detecting the presence of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in the urine. The HCG hormone is produced in large quantities after the fertilized egg implants itself on the uterine wall. The amount of HCG increases rapidly as the pregnancy progresses. It then enters the bloodstream and the urine.
What do we mean by the “most accurate” pregnancy test?
The accuracy of the pregnancy test has nothing to do with its design; it basically refers to the sensitivity level of the test. The sensitivity level refers to the amount of the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone the test can detect in the urine.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in the urine is measured in mIU / ml or milli-International Units per milliliter of urine. Lower the concentrations of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin it can detect, higher is the sensitivity level of the test. Thus, a test that can detect 20 mIU/ml is more sensitive than a test that can detect 50 mIU/ml. So, if you want the most accurate home pregnancy tests, you should buy one that has the ability to detect very low levels of HCG; 25mIU / ml or less.
An accurate test also includes those that claim to be able to detect pregnancy as early as the first day of a missed period or even before a woman has missed her period.
Additional steps to get accurate results with a Home Pregnancy Test
In addition to purchasing a Home Pregnancy test kit that offers high sensitivity levels, you should keep in mind the following tips to get accurate results:
- It is advised that you wait at least until one week after your expected period.
- Check the date of expiry mentioned on the package before you take the test. Expired tests will give wrong results.
- Do not use the test if it has got moist or damp during storage
- Read and follow the instructions (regarding the collection of urine, testing and reading the results) mentioned on the package carefully
Reconfirming The Results
There is nothing wrong in using a home pregnancy test. Almost all modern HPT kits are 99% accurate. If the test displays a negative and you still haven’t got your period, you should wait another week and test again. There are possibilities that ovulation may have taken place later and thus your period is delayed. On the contrary, if it reads as positive, you can visit your doctor’s office and take a blood test to confirm the results. Blood tests are extremely accurate and can detect HCG as low as 5mIU/ml.