If you think you may be pregnant, one of the best ways to find out quickly is via a pregnancy test.
However, not all pregnancy tests are created equal. Let’s dive into the main differences between a home pregnancy test and a medical grade pregnancy test that you can get at a hospital or birthing center.
When it comes to pregnancy testing, having an accurate result is very important. While most at-home pregnancy tests tout a 99% accuracy badge, many surveys that have been done on home pregnancy tests show that the number they are showing on the box may not be quite that accurate. The main reason for this is because most home pregnancy tests are based on urine hCG levels, which is a bit less accurate than that of a blood hCG test.
If you are taking fertility drugs, this can often cause you a false positive as the home test cannot recognize if the hCG levels are being caused by a fertility drug or pregnancy. False positives can also happen on home tests if you had a recent lost pregnancy, or if taken too soon after taking fertility drugs. Other common reasons for a false positive include menopause, ectopic pregnancy, and other related ovary problems.
False negatives can happen when you are actualy pregnant. This happens in more cases than false positives when it comes to home pregnancy tests.
Hospital Pregnancy Test
The type of pregnancy test that they take at a hospital is done using blood samples. The test looks for blood hCG levels which gives the test specific information if the hCG is being caused by fertility drugs or actual pregnancy. These tests can also give you a little bit more accurate data when it comes down to timing of when you got pregnant and can help to project a more accurate due date.
These types of test can detect pregnancy within 2-3 days from insemination. This is one of the advantages of this type of test as an at-home test suggests waiting until after your first missed period.
When To Test
The best time to take a pregnancy test is after your first missed period. This time table will help to reduce false negaties and false positives from appearing from the testing. If you have an irregular mentrual cycle, wait a few extra days after missing your period to ensure proper timing.
Morning is the best time to take the test as your morning uring typically produces the most concentrated urine with more hCG percentage. Taking the test at other times of the day may produce false negatives due to inadaquate hCG levels in the urine.
As you can see, home tests and hospital tests are both great ways to test whether or not you are pregnant. Home tests are definitely cheaper, however, hospital tests are the most accurate but are more expensive to take. No matter what you choose, getting tested in some way is important to help you plan your pregnancy to keep both mother and baby has healthy as possible.