Different Types of Pregnancy Tests

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When it comes to pregnancy tests, many women are not aware that there are actually two different types.  Both types of test check for the HCG hormone in a woman’s body. HCG is the “pregnancy hormone” and it is the hormone that is produced by the placenta once it begins to grow.

The only time that a woman’s body naturally produces HCG is during pregnancy. One type of pregnancy test checks the blood for the HCG hormone. The other type of pregnancy test checks the urine for the hCG hormone. Read on to learn more about both kinds of tests.

1. Blood Pregnancy Tests

Blood pregnancy tests are performed at doctor’s offices, and they are considered to be more accurate than home pregnancy tests, which are urine pregnancy tests. Blood pregnancy tests have little to no room for error, since a doctor performs them. Blood tests can be done any time after the first day of a woman’s missed period, and they can quickly pick up any amount of HCG in the bloodstream.

Blood-pregnancy-tests-are-performed-at-doctors-offices-and-they-are-considered-to-be-more-accurateBlood pregnancy tests come in two versions, a quantitative test and a qualitative test. The quantitative blood test will reveal the exact amount of HCG in a woman’s blood. The qualitative blood test will only give a simple “yes” or “no” answer to whether or not a woman is pregnant.

While blood tests are considered more accurate and can be used sooner than urine pregnancy tests, they are also more expensive since they also require the cost of a doctor’s visit.

2. Urine Pregnancy Tests

Home pregnancy tests that you buy in a store or online are urine tests. Most urine tests work in similar ways. Usually you pee in a cup, and then place the test stick into the cup, or you place the test strip into the midstream of the urine. Some tests have you use an eyedropper like device to place urine onto the test strip.

Home-pregnancy-tests-that-you-buy-in-a-store-or-online-are-urine-testsAfter you take the test, you have to wait the allotted number of minutes before reading the results.  Once your allotted time is up, your test will give you the results. Some tests will give you one or two pink lines for a result. Some tests give you a plus or minus sign, and some tests can even tell you “pregnant” or “not pregnant”.

Some newer tests will even tell you an estimate of how many weeks along you are. Just make sure when taking a home pregnancy test that you follow the instructions carefully. Each home urine pregnancy test has a recommended time to take it, usually within a few days after a woman’s missed period. There are many different kinds of urine tests, ranging from simple and inexpensive to more high tech and with a higher price tag.

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Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.