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Pregnancy test: when can you test and how reliable are they?

Pregnancy test: When can you start testing and how reliable are they?

In this article you will learn the following

Your period is late? Are you sick in the morning? And you discover other signs of pregnancy?
Then you might want to take a pregnancy test. You can find out what needs to be considered and how such a test works in the following article.

How does a pregnancy test work?

All pregnancy tests work the same way, they measure HCG levels in urine or blood.

When a fertilized egg implants in the uterus , the placenta produces the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This ensures that the hormone progesterone continues to be produced in the ovaries in order to keep the uterine lining intact.

This ensures that the pregnancy can be maintained. Otherwise, the uterine lining would be shed with the menstrual period.

The HCG hormone can therefore only be detected during pregnancy. The HCG value doubles at least every two days and has reached its highest level between the 60th and 70th day of pregnancy (approx. 10th week of pregnancy).

The pregnancy tests usually all work very simply. It is best to follow the package instructions exactly to avoid possible errors and incorrect results. Most of the time, a test stick or a test disk has to be held in some urine (or directly under the urine stream) and the result is displayed after a few minutes.

The display varies slightly depending on the manufacturer: Some show a colored line , some a plus or minus sign.

It is best to do the test in the morning, right after getting up, as that is when the HCG concentration is at its highest.

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When can you test positive with a pregnancy test?

A urine self-test can show a positive result about 12-14 days after conception. This is roughly the day you would get your period.

Of course, you can also test before you miss your period, but the results are often inaccurate. By the way: If you only test after the second or third missed menstrual period, the test can also be negative again because the hCG value decreases again from the 10th week of pregnancy.

What are the different pregnancy tests?

On the one hand, there are the “normal” pregnancy self-tests, which provide a very reliable result as soon as the period is missed.

On the other hand, there are the so-called early pregnancy tests. These tests are used just like the other urine tests and determine the HCG level in the urine. They can be used before menstruation stops.

However, the early tests have a relatively high error rate, since very little HCG is produced so early after conception.

Therefore: Even if your early test shows negative, but you still feel pregnant, repeat the test after one few days.

Pregnancy can also be verified by a blood test. There the HCG value in the blood is determined.

And of course the pregnancy can also be detected and confirmed by your gynecologist via an ultrasound.

 Pregnancy test: when can you test and how reliable are they?

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How reliable are pregnancy tests?

If If you take the pregnancy test exactly according to the instructions on the package, the tests will give a result that is 95% reliable.

Of course, the longer you wait to take the test, the more likely it is that you will get a reliable result . As I said, it is best to test after you have missed your period.

Most tests have two fields: One is the control field, which shows you whether you have performed the test correctly. You will then see the result in the other field.

If the result is positive, the next step is to visit your gynaecologist. He will then finally confirm your pregnancy and discuss the next steps with you.