Everyone talks about pregnancy tests and how helpful they are in protecting a woman’s health, but how do they work? Pregnancy tests look for the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
Also known as “the pregnancy hormone,” hCG is a hormone unique to pregnancy. Once the embryo (or fertilized egg) attaches to the wall of your uterus, the placenta begins to form, producing tremendous amounts of the hCG hormone for up to the first ten weeks of pregnancy.
When Is the Best Time to Test?
Time of Cycle
Usually, hCG can be detected in a person’s blood 11 days after conception, but it takes a little longer to be detectable in urine. Hence, it is best to wait until the day of your next expected period to take a pregnancy test.
Waiting until the day of your expected period also helps ensure you don’t miss early pregnancy detection. If you test too early, the hCG levels may be too low to be picked up by the test.
Time of Day
It is best to take a pregnancy test in the morning, as urine is most concentrated in the morning.
Protect Your Health
While pregnancy tests are helpful; it is essential to protect your health by confirming you are pregnant with an ultrasound as well. Ensuring you’re pregnant with a pregnancy test and ultrasound helps determine the age of your pregnancy so that you can know all your options.
Having an ultrasound with a pregnancy test also confirms that your pregnancy is not a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy (pregnant outside of the uterus), which can pose a risk to your overall health and well-being.