Home pregnancy tests are based on the detection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine. hCG is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. The levels of hCG increase rapidly in early pregnancy, peaking around the eighth to tenth week. Home pregnancy tests can detect hCG at different sensitivities, depending on the test.
The most sensitive home pregnancy tests can detect hCG as low as 25 mIU/mL (milli-international units per millilitre). This is about the level of hCG produced two weeks after implantation, when most women miss their first period. However, some women may produce detectable levels of hCG earlier than this, so a test done too early may give a false-negative result.
On the other hand, home pregnancy tests are not 100% accurate. False-positive results, where the test says you are pregnant when you are not, are rare but can happen. This is usually due to incorrect test technique or reading the test after the recommended time limit. Evaporation lines, where the urine on the test dries to leave a faint line, can also be mistaken for a positive result.False-negative results, where the test says you are not pregnant but you actually are, are more common. This is because hCG levels can vary from woman to woman and sometimes even from one pregnancy to another in the same woman.
If you get a positive result on a home pregnancy test, it’s important to follow up with a visit to your doctor. They can confirm the result with a blood test and help you make decisions about your next steps.
If you think you might be pregnant, take a home pregnancy test and see your doctor if the result is positive. Home pregnancy tests are most accurate when taken two weeks after implantation, but some women may get detectable levels of hCG earlier than this. False-positive results are rare but can happen, so it’s important to follow up with a visit to your doctor if you get a positive result on a home pregnancy test. false-negative results are more common, so if you think you might be pregnant and the home pregnancy test is negative, see your doctor.
Take a home pregnancy test and see your doctor if the result is positive. Follow up with your doctor if you get a false-positive result. If you think you might be pregnant and the home pregnancy test is negative, see your doctor.