How to Test for Pregnancy

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Pregnancy tests are used to determine if a woman is pregnant or not.  The indicators of pregnancy are chemical markers found in urine and blood, therefore all pregnancy tests are conducted by testing one of liquids. 

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was the first marker of pregnancy to be discovered in 1931.  It was found to be produced by the trophoblast cells of the fertilised ovum (blastocyst), which is essentially the placenta of the new fetus.  Although hCG is a reliable marker of pregnancy, it cannot be detected until the fetus is implanted on the wall of the womb.  Because of this, hCG tests often lead to inaccurate test results when the test is conducted during the very early stages of pregnancy.

When Should You Take a Pregnancy Test?
False negative readings are prone to happen when testing is conducted too early.  Quantitative blood tests and sensitive urine tests can usually detect hCG shortly after implantation.  This can happen anywhere from 6 to 12 days after ovulation.  Less sensitive urine tests and qualitative blood tests on the other hand, may not detect pregnancy until three or four days after ovulation.  This means that the chances of receiving a false negative result is quite low once a menstrual period is late.

Ovulation can occur at unpredictable times during the menstrual cycle, even for women who have a history of regular menstrual cycles.  A number of outside factors can cause this to happen unexpectedly, therefore using ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) or charting fertility signs using cervical or basal body temperature can give women a more accurate idea of their ovulation times.

The accuracy and result of a pregnancy test is most closely associated with the day of ovulation, not the act of intercourse that caused the pregnancy.  Sperm are able to live up to five days in the fallopian tubes after intercourse in order to wait for ovulation to occur.  It could take an additional twelve days in order for implantation to occur.  This means that even the most sensitive pregnancy tests may give false negative results up to seventeen days after intercourse.  Some pregnancy tests have high hCG detection thresholds (up to 100 mIU/mL), which means it may take an additional three or four days for hCG to rise to detectable levels.  Because of this, false negative results may occur up to three weeks after the act of intercourse.

In conclusion, keeping track of your ovulation cycle is important to understanding all issues pertaining to fertility.  Using a fertility monitor, such as Cyclotest Baby, is one of the most convenient ways to do this.  To learn more about pregnancy, fertility and Cyclotest baby, contact RDO Medical. 
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