Pregnancy Test: Types, Accuracy, When To Take

Aulia Hafisa
Testpack Illustration
Testpack Illustration

TheIndonesia.id - The test pack is an easy and effective pregnancy test tool to find out whether you are pregnant or not. The test pack works by detecting the hCG hormone in the urine. So, how to read a pregnancy test

The hormone hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is produced by the embryo early in pregnancy which will later become part of the placenta. So, when fertilization occurs, the test pack will find high hCG levels.

HCG production will increase during pregnancy, even doubling every day. The hCG hormone is produced by the syncytiotrophoblast cells of the placenta during pregnancy.

Quoting NCBI, this hormone then stimulates the corpus luteum to produce progesterone to maintain pregnancy.

Testpack accuracy for pregnancy tests

A pregnancy test with a test pack that uses urine is said to be around 99 percent accurate. Some pregnancy tests can detect hCG before you miss your period.

Types of test packs for pregnancy tests

Tespack is divided into two types, digital and non-digital. Get to know how each one works:

Non-digital test packs

Illustration of pregnancy test
Illustration of pregnancy test

Non-digital test packs have a simple form, disposable sticks, or strips. Quoting Women's Health Magazine, this pregnancy test works by detecting hCG in the urine only if the level is high enough, which is around 40 mIU/mL.

"If it's not sensitive enough to detect low hCG levels, on the first day or two of pregnancy, it's common to have a negative test result with a non-digital test pack," says reproductive endocrinologist at Prelude Fertility, Daniel Shapiro, M.D.

Digital test pack

The shape of this digital test pack is like a pen or bigger than a non-digital one. The digital pregnancy test uses the rapid assay delivery method, which is a way to detect pregnancy more quickly.

Results with this tool are sensitive enough to detect hCG up to a value of 15 mIU/mL. Even this tool is able to detect conception 10 days after ovulation, Mother.

The results written on the test pack are also clearer when compared to non-digital ones. However, the price tends to be more expensive because it uses advanced technology.

Now, after knowing the types and benefits of a test pack, now is time to understand how to use it so that the pregnancy test is accurate.

How to use the right test pack

1. Check the expiration date

To get optimal results, you should use a quality test pack. Be sure to check the expiration date and make sure the packaging is intact.

Test packs that have expired are no longer suitable for use because their sensitivity has decreased to detect pregnancy. As a result, the results shown can be inaccurate.

You can see the expiration date on the packaging. If necessary, ask the cashier or pharmacy guard.

2. Read the instructions for using the test pack

Mothers also need to read the instructions for consuming the test pack before using it. This is because each brand of pregnancy test kit may have different instructions for use.

Some test packs state certain usage times that must be obeyed. So, if you read a pregnancy test after the allotted time, you might get a false positive result.

These problems usually occur in mothers who use non-digital test packs. If you use a digital test kit, the results of the examination can be more accurate.

3. Do not drink a lot of water before the test

Before taking a pregnancy test, Mother should not drink lots of water or liquids. Excess fluid in the body can affect the accuracy of the test results.

If the urine looks runny or yellow, you should postpone doing the test. Watery urine tends to have high levels of hCG, which can change the test results.

Mothers should do the test when naturally urinating. This method can avoid dilution of hCG levels and false negative results.

4. Make sure the Mother understands the menstrual cycle

Before using a test pack, you need to know your menstrual cycle first. According to Lactation counselor and Doula, Robin Elise Weiss, Ph.D., MPH, knowing the menstrual cycle is important to determine when hCG is produced by the body.

"False-negative results can cause someone to think they are not pregnant when they are pregnant. So, wait until you miss your period to get more accurate test results," said Weiss quoted from Health Central.

How to read test pack results

The test pack contains a substrate, which is a piece of material that can react to the presence of hCG. When this substrate reacts with urine, it will produce a pregnancy test result.

The results of the pregnancy test pack are in the form of a 'plus' or 'minus' sign. Most commonly the results are in the form of one line indicating not pregnant or two lines indicating positive pregnancy.

In general, here are 3 basic knowledge in reading a test pack:

  • Appearing 1 pink line means negative
  • Appearing 2 pink lines is positive
  • No pink line - invalid due to improper use of the kit, expired or damaged kit, or too little urine used.

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