Since their invention and introduction to the public in the late 1970s, pregnancy tests have helped countless women find out whether or not they were expecting. These tests have remarkable accuracy rates, with many brands giving results that are 99 percent accurate.
However, the reliability of these tests centers in part on how well women use them and how well they can interpret their own results. Before they take a test, they may do well to learn some important pregnancy test tips first.
One of the most important tips involves using the test at the right time of the month. Some women, especially those who are very eager to become mothers and those who have never before been pregnant, test too soon and get results that are many times inaccurate.
They may actually be pregnant; however, because they tested too early their test was unable to detect any hCG hormone, which is created by the growing baby’s placenta. The hormone hCG starts to become traceable about 11 days after conception has occurred.
If a woman tests before the 11 days have passed since she conceived, she will more than likely get a false negative result.
Another important tip when taking a test involves using it during the optimal time of day. Most brands recommend that women take their tests first thing in the morning when their urine will contain the most concentrated levels of hCG.
If they test later in the day, their urine could become diluted with water, caffeine, medications, and other inhibitors that could mask the presence of hCG.
Home Pregnancy Test Tips
Home pregnancy tests prove to be very simple to use in the privacy of a woman’s home. Despite being relatively self-explanatory, some women may benefit by understanding what could compromise their results. For example, most brands of tests come with instructions that warn women to wash their hands prior to using.
Even so, many women skip this step because they believe that their hands are clean and do not contain contaminants that could jeopardize the reliability of their results. However, even something as seemingly harmless as sweat or hand lotion could contaminate the test window and cause the strip to malfunction. Rather than risk any malfunction at all, women would do well to wash their hands prior to taking the test.
Another step that they are advised to take involves making sure no urine splashes on the test window while they are taking the test. While the indicator window will show the final result of the test, it can malfunction if urine comes direct contact with it. Rather, the urine must travel up the test strip until it reaches the window.
This gradual process allows the strip to detect hCG accurately. To prevent splashing, many tests are now made with splash guards.
Finally, women who use home pregnancy tests are advised to give their tests time to work. They should avoid the rush to interpret the results before a full three or four minutes have passed. Rushing to read the results can cause women to believe that they are not pregnant when in fact they are.
First Response Pregnancy Test Tips
First Response is heralded as one of the best brands of pregnancy tests on the market. Women love this brand because it allows them to test early and know before they miss a period whether or not they are pregnant.
As innovative and reliable as it is, however, it can be compromised if women fail to understand how to take it properly. Before they use a First Response test, they should learn what actions of theirs could cause a false result.
One of the primary reasons that women think their First Response test failed them centers on their own miscalculations. They may know the first day of their last period. However, they cannot know with any reliable degree of certainty when they conceived. Most women ovulate anywhere from 10 to 17 days after the first day of their last period.
A woman with a perfect 28-day cycle typically will ovulate around the 14th day after the first day of her last menses.
However, if she has intercourse a few days prior or after the 14th day, she could conceive at anytime during the mid-point of her cycle. If she tests before she misses her period, she could end up testing too soon for the test to detect any hCG.
As such, she may fare better to use her First Response Test within a few days of her period’s schedule start or even as soon as the first day that she misses her period.
Clearblue Pregnancy Test Tips
Like First Response, Clearblue is another brand that has garnered high favor with women for its reliability and ease of use. As with First Response, however, it is possible to jeopardize the results of this brand if the test is not taken as directed.
Despite the test saying that women can test prior to missing their periods, women should understand that a positive result prior to missing their period does not mean that the test can determine whether or not a pregnancy is viable. Many women are disappointed and believe their test failed when they start what they believe is a late period.
However, their late period could in fact be a miscarriage. Up to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, in fact. If they take a Clearblue pregnancy test and get a positive result, it is possible that they miscarried when they start what they think is a period a few days or weeks later. This fact is one risk that women take when they test prior to missing a period.
While reliable brands like Clearblue can help women know if they are pregnant, the over-the-counter test should not take the place of early obstetrical care. After getting a positive result, a woman should make an appointment with her obstetrician for further testing and to begin her prenatal care for the next nine months.