If you miss your period and you want to be certain of a possible pregnancy, come on pregnancy test for use. This shows whether the pregnancy hormone hCG is present. Modern pregnancy tests are very reliable with a laboratory accuracy of over 99.9%.
To make sure that you are actually pregnant, the presence of the pregnancy-maintaining hormone hCG in the urine is often checked.
Under a pregnancy test one understands a test with the help of which one can clarify from home without medical intervention whether an egg cell has been fertilized and implanted - and thus a pregnancy.
A commercially available pregnancy test is used with the morning urine. You can buy such tests in pharmacies as well as in drugstores. Inexpensive pregnancy tests are available from around four euros, sometimes even cheaper in Internet shops.
Area of application of a Pregnancy tests is the clarification of the question of whether a pregnancy occurred in the previous cycle. A pregnancy test can be carried out by the woman herself or in a doctor's office. The procedure used in a pregnancy test is the same for both home and doctor's office tests:
The test measures whether the hormone hCG can be detected. hCG is a hormone that is only produced by pregnant women. If hCG is detected, the test is considered positive. One can then assume that a fertilized egg has established itself and is thus connected to the maternal bloodstream.
Using a pregnancy test is easy. The test stick is taken out of the packaging. The test area of the swab must now come into contact with urine. Morning urine is ideally used for this, as it has the highest concentration of hCG. You can either moisten the test stick with urine while urinating or collect urine in a sterile container and then dip the stick. The time in which the test stick should be held in the urine is defined by the manufacturer. Usually it is 10 seconds. This time should also be observed when using in order to achieve the most reliable result possible.
The result can usually be read after a few seconds. Most tests are designed so that a second line appears in the result window when hCG is detected. Digital tests also measure whether hCG is present and show the word "pregnant" in the result window if the concentration is hCG. Such digital tests are usually a bit more expensive. The blood test is a special form of pregnancy test. hCG can be detected not only in urine, but also in blood. To do this, blood is taken from a woman's arm vein and examined for hCG in the laboratory. Such a method is not suitable for at home and is clearly inferior to a practical pregnancy test using urine in the evaluation.
A blood test as a pregnancy test is usually carried out by fertility centers. A fertility clinic often performs a pregnancy test at a very early stage. Hcg can be detected earlier in the blood than in the urine. The urine value lags that of the blood in about 48 hours. In this respect, the woman has a result at a very early period as to whether or not hcg has been detected.
There is a risk to health pregnancy test not for the woman. Especially with a urine test, there can be no side effects or injuries. The blood test as a pregnancy test involves at least the theoretical risk of injury or infection of the puncture site by taking blood from the vein.
A risk that is more psychological is the possibility of a pregnancy test being incorrect. Basically, with laboratory accuracies of more than 99.9%, a very high reliability of the tests can be assumed - provided correct handling. This includes choosing the right time for a pregnancy test. Most pregnancy tests are designed to be reliable from the time you missed your period. Since the physical rhythm is not always absolutely predictable, it is not possible to predict with absolute accuracy when the period would be due.
On the one hand, a test that is too early can indicate a false negative, because despite the implantation of the egg cell there was simply not enough hcg available. However, if you use a very sensitive pregnancy test very early, you can also be disappointed: Particularly in the first days of pregnancy, there is very often a natural loss of the egg. Without a pregnancy test, this usually goes completely unnoticed by women.