Best test for early pregnancy – Living through the period of wandering about whether or not you are pregnant is always an incredibly emotional and overwhelming experience. The results of the test are always meaningful. Such a trial is a distilled embodiment of life-changing dilemmas: it may affect your life forever, regardless of its outcome.
The best way to deal with this unique mix of anticipation and anxiety is to use an at-home kit. Considering the intrinsic gravity of the situation, it is equally important to select the best kit to avoid false positives. Pregnancy is all about new challenges and restrictions. Therefore, the sooner you know about your condition, the better you will be prepared for it.
Pregnancy Test: What Is It?
It is a diagnostic procedure determining the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin hCG in the blood or urine. Although visible changes appear only months after conception, a woman’s body starts producing new chemicals and preparing a completely new ecosystem of coordinated placental cells approximately 6-10 days later.
During that brief, though crucial, period, the fertilized egg begins the multi-staged implantation process, activating the metabolic pathways that produce human chorionic gonadotropin. The active synthesis of this incredibly sophisticated chemical compound happens only after conception. Trophoblastic cells release this hormone in the blood. It is also regularly eliminated from the body with urine. By registering the amount of this chemical, it is possible to verify whether a woman is pregnant with 99% accuracy, depending on the characteristics of the specific kit and the conditions of the test.
Different Types of Tests
Although all modern hCG-registering kits utilize the same methodology, determining the threshold concentration of one single hormone, their features may differ significantly. Firstly, there are two fundamental types of such tests:
- Blood tests;
- Urine kits.
While it is true that they demonstrate a significantly higher accuracy, they also come with many disturbing downsides. For instance, you cannot perform such tests in the comfort and security of your house: you have to visit your OB GYN to conduct them. They are also significantly more expensive and tend to take a much longer time compared to almost-instant digital models of urine tests. It usually takes several hours or even a couple of days to get the results. In addition, blood tests do require a blood sample: only a tiny drop — nonetheless, some people find this procedure traumatic.
What are the pros of this method? Instead of signalizing only the presence of hCG, this method helps to determine its exact amount. This may be helpful in many ways. However, in most cases, ordinary users do not require such additional data. Therapists usually order them when they suspect some complications or want to collect more data regarding the exact gestational term of the ongoing pregnancy.
Almost instant at-home urine pregnancy tests provide accurate results with minimal effort. Manufacturers claim they are exceptionally accurate: the probability of a false positive outcome is less than 1% when used as instructed. These claims are backed up by hundreds of international clinical studies. They are considerably cheaper than their high-tech counterparts and do not require a prescription. You can easily purchase them in most pharmacies. In addition, they are easy to use and require no special preparation. Currently, you can choose between two different types:
- Non-digital kits;
- Digital models.
Although less technologically advanced, non-digital models provide instant answers with high-degree accuracy. The results of the tests are shown in the form of two lines: usually blue or pink. In some cases, the lines may be faint. If this happens, it is advisable not to rush to conclusions and retest after a day or two. Women with irregular periods may also need to take it several times to reduce the risk of a false-negative reaction. If the test is taken too early, it will show a negative result even when pregnancy has already begun.
Digital kits are generally easier to read. Instead of lines, you have to interpret, they spell information on the screen. In addition, they may also come with extra features.
For instance, Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test has a Smart Countdown option, which allows you to check whether the kit is working properly and monitor each step of the process. Even a couple of minutes before the answers are revealed may become extremely stressful. Hence, it is good to know that everything is going as intended, and there is no need to double-check. Moreover, the said kits make use of the Floodguard technology. This convenient feature prevents the flow of excess fluid into the apparatus, decreasing the risk of glitches.
As for the inevitable downsides of higher-quality products, digital kits are more costly.
Urine Pregnancy Kit: How Does It Work?
Of course, hCG is not the only hormone that prepares a woman’s body for the unimaginably large variety of processes that have to coincide perfectly to support a growing embryo. However, it plays such an important role in the formation and proper functioning of the corpus luteum that it is often called the pregnancy hormone. The corpus luteum produces two other essential hormones: estrogen, which is responsible for the development of the embryo, and progesterone, which prepares tissues for its implantation.
Thanks to its unique role, it became a reliable indicator of pregnancy. A woman’s body does not need this highly specific chemical substance in the absence of a fertilized egg. Hence, to understand whether a woman is pregnant or not pregnant, it is enough to determine the concentration of hCG in blood or urine. Its amounts rapidly grow after conception: hCG levels grow almost 100% every two days after conception. It also means that the more days have passed after the potential fertilization, the easier it is to detect hCG.
At-home kits usually come with pregnancy test strips, although you can also find kits with test sticks. When the urine is applied to the strip, it first reaches a zone with special mobile antibodies. If hCG is indeed present in the sample of urine, it attaches to these antibodies. Next, the urine moves further, reaching a zone with another type of antibodies, which are fixed to the strip, so they are unable to move. The newly formed compound (hCG plus mobile antibodies) reacts with immobile antibodies, creating a new structure: the hormone is “sandwiched” between two different types of proteins.
This compound provokes a change of color, signalizing the pregnancy. If the urine is free from hCG, mobile antibodies simply flow further along and reach the control zone. There excessive mobile antibodies bind with immobile ones, triggering the color change. Thus, the appearance of the second line in the control zone proves that the test kit works as it should.
How to Use a Pregnancy Test Kit
Hence, reading the results of such tests is very simple. The appearance of the test line means that the woman is pregnant. After checking this out, you should also look at whether there is a control line to make sure that the test is working properly.
According to the gathered data, such tests very rarely show false-positive results. However, they do have a limited period of validity. Always check the expiration date before using the kit.
Digital kits are even more convenient: instead of deciding whether there are two lines or just a single one, you receive a result in words. In addition to being easy to read, digital tests may be incorporated into the modern digital ecosystem. For instance, Clearblue pregnancy tests may be accessed through a special App. Hence, people with impaired vision may receive their results via a private video call.
You should also remember a few simple rules.
Use only fresh urine. A woman’s body synthesizes the largest amounts of hCG right after a long night’s sleep. Hence, it is only reasonable to apply the kit when you have the highest chances of obtaining the clearest answers.
Do not drink too much the night before the test. Many women feel rather nervous when dealing with such an important issue. Hence, they tend to drink too much to make sure they have a sufficient volume of urine. However, by doing so, you dilute its concentration. Because of this, the kit may not be able to find the signs of hCG, leading to a false negative result.
The probability of false-positive reactions when everything is done as instructed is extremely low. Antibiotics, antiallergic drugs, and other medications usually do not mess with the process. However, there is an exception. Various medications used to treat infertility, especially those of hormonal nature, may trigger the bonding reaction. If you are taking such drugs, you should always verify the accuracy of the obtained results with the help of your therapist.
The Best Early Pregnancy Test
Determining the hormonal traces at the earliest stages is a much more difficult task. A woman’s body must build up a certain amount of pregnancy hormone before it can be found. The procedure becomes increasingly less reliable following the decreasing levels of the sought-for compound. Therefore, testing too early is virtually useless. Even if you are indeed pregnant, the concentration of the hCG is too insignificant to trigger the reaction.
The most trustworthy method is to wait for the expected period and then conduct the test. However, wasting precious time before the day of your expected period may be inconvenient. If such is the case, you can opt for Clearblue Digital or Rapid Detection Pregnancy Tests. Providers assure that they are sensitive enough to pick out even incredibly weak signals. As specified by the latest clinical studies, they are capable of registering reliable signals even up to five-six days before the expected menses date.
Nonetheless, the accuracy of all kits rapidly drops down depending on the day of the cycle you apply them. A week before your periods are due they become just useless. Even if you manage to obtain a somewhat clear response, an early result may prove to be false.
Clearblue Early Detection Kit is capable of tracing the signs of pregnancy on the day of the expected period with 99% accuracy. As for the six-day period before it, the accuracy does not jump higher than 71%. Naturally, if you perform it too early, the mathematical probability will drop to the fifty-fifty scenario, making it effectively useless.
As for other features, the Clearblue series proves to be one of the most convenient on the market: its ergonomic design, high reliability, and a variety of extra features make them an obvious choice.