Are home pregnancy test results always accurate?

When should you take the home pregnancy test? Are the test results accurate? We asked a gynaecologist to know if home pregnancy test kits are reliable.

Home pregnancy test kits have undoubtedly eased the process of finding out if you are pregnant. Not only are they easy to use but are also affordable. And yet, the lines on the reading strip can sometimes leave you confused about the accuracy of the results. So, should you really rely on home pregnancy test kits? Express Parenting got in touch with Dr Bandita Sinha, Consultant Gynaecologist, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, to know more about it.

What are the chances of false results in home pregnancy tests?

Home pregnancy tests give an accurate result in 99 per cent of cases, that is, if conducted after missing your period. After this, one can go for a blood test or ultrasonography to confirm the pregnancy. Although, if you are doing it before the period is due, there might be chances of inaccurate results.

In rare cases, for instance, when a woman has ectopic pregnancy (in which the embryo attaches outside the uterus) or she has taken an hormone injection, there are chances of getting false positive results too.

When should you take the urine test?

The test should be taken after missing your period. The urine test detects the beta hcg (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone, which is produced during pregnancy. There are some kits which claim to be able to detect the hormone before the missed period. They may not be very authentic, Dr Sinha warned, and can give inaccurate results.

Also Read: Common pregnancy symptoms: Here is what you need to know

If someone has a history of irregular periods, in case of PCOD, for instance, then it becomes difficult to find out exactly when she will be ovulating and decide when to do the urine test. In such cases, it is recommended to take the test after 15 days of unprotected sex.

Do you need to take multiple home pregnancy tests?

In cases of a “weak” pregnancy or low levels of beta hcg hormone, both the lines on the pregnancy test strip may not be very prominent. In this case, it is advisable to repeat the test after two to four days to confirm the result. Women with an irregular period cycle can repeat it weekly.

Why do you need to take the pregnancy test in the morning?

Women are advised to take the test with their first morning urine because the concentration of beta hcg hormone is maximum after the woman has not passed urine throughout the night. So, the detection is accurate.

In case the results are doubtful, especially in the case of weak pregnancy, women are generally advised to wait for another 48 hours and repeat the test with fresh morning urine. Doing it twice or thrice will confirm whether the woman is pregnant or not.

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